Workshop 'Use of Ethno-Cultural Capacities of Indigenous Peoples in Development of Rural Tourism' Was Held in Petrozavodsk
: 15/10/2010

The workshop "Use of Ethno-Cultural Capacities of Indigenous Peoples in Development of Rural Tourism" was held on 6-8 October 2010 in Petrozavodsk within the project "Network for Promoting and Protecting Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Indigenous Communities of the Russian Federation". The workshop was organized by the Karelian regional public organization "Youth Legal Information Centre of Indigenous Peoples "Nevond" with financial support from the Interregional public organization "L'auravetl'an" Information and Education Network of Indigenous Peoples" as well as with informational and organizational support from the Ministry of Culture of Karelian Republic, the State Committee of the Republic of Karelia for National Politics and Relations with Religious Associations, the state institution "Center of National Cultures and Folk Art of the Republic of Karelia".
The workshop objectives were raising public awareness on tourism development in the region; educating the population of the Republic of Karelia on the history and culture of indigenous peoples; development of indigenous peoples capacity to attract tourists to the settlements, development of national consciousness of indigenous youth, preservation and development of national identity.

The workshop was attended by more than 20 people - heads of rural settlements, districts administration officials, experts of cultural and educational institutions, museum workers, entrepreneurs working in the tourism sector, activists of national associations from Pryazha, Olonets, Louhi and Kondopoga Districts of the Republic of Karelia, Petrozavodsk, Sortavala, Kostomuksha and the Republic of Mari El.
The workshop program was informative and divers. During the three days following topics were discussed:
- The use of ethno-cultural capacities of Karelians, Vepsians and Finns in development of rural areas;
- Legal basis for commercial activity arrangement in the field of rural tourism;
- Municipal tourism development programs;
- Fundraising;
- Customer cooperation and tourism;
- Legal issues of land use, water consumption, environmental law;
- The taxation of tourist services;
- Fundamentals of social projects;
- National holidays and traditional culture in Karelia.
specialists from the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Karelia, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia, the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Karelia, the Institute of Economics of Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Karelian State Museum of Local History, the State Historical, Architectural and Ethnographic Museum-Reserve "Kizhi" were invited to take part in the workshop.
The round table on "Prospects for Development of Rural Tourism in Karelia, Use of Museums Potential"
The following persons shared their experience:
- Nadezhda V. Kalmykova, individual entrepreneur in tourism sector, Kinerma, Pryazha District;
- Lyubov K. Sadovina, embroiderer (Mari El Republic), "National Mari Embroidery is a Direction in Development of Guest Tourism of the Republic of Mari El";
- Anna I. Ankhimova, head of the Information Centre of the Karelian State Museum of Local History;
- Aleksandr P. Korzhavin, head of the farm, Sortavala;
- Ekaterina Polevaya, an expert on tourism of the National Park "Vodlozersky".
The classes on "National Holidays" were very emotional. Boris F. Shustov, Honored Worker of Culture of Karelia, leader of the ensemble "Gornitsa" (Petrozavodsk), told not only how to acquaint tourists with culture but also how to involve them in national dances and teach them folk games. The workshop participants learnt some dances and games.
According to the final questionnaire the contents of the workshop corresponded to the participants expectations, the received knowledge was relevant, the topics were interesting, realizable and relevant to the workshop program. The participants expressed their suggestions to the organizers of the workshop.

Elena Leontyeva,
Director of Karelian Center