Visit Arctic Europe project (VAE project) aims at developing the northern Scandinavian area into a cross-border, high-quality tourist area, which is an internationally competitive and well-known Arctic tourist destination. The project runs from August 2015 to March 2018. Its budget is 6,4 M€. The partners in the project are Finnish Lapland Tourist Board Ry, LME (the head funding grantee), Northern Norway Tourist Board and Swedish Lapland Visitors Board.

Oxford Research conducted an evaluation of the VAE project. Main objective was to evaluate the results and impacts of the project. We used three different methods for data gathering. In desk research we examined all relevant project documentation. Focus lied on going through guiding documents, project reports, decisions on project selection and all other relevant material. Web survey targeted beneficiaries of the project and other cooperation partners as well as other organizations with experience and knowledge of the project. We also interviewed key actors like project personel and main stakeholders. Interviews were conducted in Finland by the Finnish evaluator and in Sweden and Norway in the local languages by local evaluators. The total number of interviews was 10.

VAE-project has several main objectives. They are:

  • Internationally renowned high standard single, Visit Arctic Europe travel destination.
  • Strengthen cross border cooperation between travel businesses in the VAE area.
  • Region’s tourism volume will increase, profitability and turnover of SMEs will grow
  • International expertise will be further strengthened.
  • Visit Arctic Europe area will be easily accessible in the future.
  • Internal accessibility is developed, travelling in the area easy for travelers.

The project has been instrumental in helping to reach these objectives. The number of visitors to arctic region has grown and there is more cross-border cooperation between travel businesses across the VAE area. Developing internal accessibility is still lagging behind, but largely VAE-project can be considered as being successful.





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