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Conference Programme

Photo: Sami Niemeläinen


4 -5 February 2020

Joensuu, North Karelia Biosphere Reserve (Finland)



Conference venue: Sokos Kimmel Hotel

4 February 2020

8.30 – 9.00 Registration (Lobby)


9.00 Welcome and Introduction (Sirkkala)


9.30 Opening Keynote (Sirkkala)

Shaping Ecotourism in Partnership – Together in the right direction.

Wilf Fenten (Independent Environmental Advisor)


10.15– 13.00 Perspectives from SHAPE (Sirkkala)

Chair: Timo J. Hokkanen, Coordinator of North Karelia Biosphere Reserve

11.00- 11.30 Coffee break

Q&A Panel

12.30 Lunch


13.00 – 14.00 Lunch (Restaurant Fransmanni)

14.00 – 16.00 Parallel thematic workshops: Sustainable Ecotourism in Practice

W1 – Integrating natural and cultural heritage for sustainable ecotourism initiatives

W2 – Engaging visitors and tour operators with tourism sustainability issues

W3 – Planning and strategies for ecotourism (destination management planning, community engagement, etc.)

W4 – Digital approaches to ecotourism


16.00 – 16.30 Coffee / tea

19.00 – Dinner (Restaurant Riverside)

    • Welcome address by Liisa Timonen, Head of International Affairs, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

5 February 2020

9.00 – 11.00 Parallel thematic workshops: Managing Sustainable Ecotourism

W5 – Effective governance

W6 – Identifying and engaging with your consumer: effective use of digital tourism

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee Break

11.30 – 12.30 Feedback from workshops and wrap up of the conference (Sirkkala)

  • Presentation of the TUNNA Academy, Paolo Grigolli
  • Workshop convenors: Rosalind Bryce, Kari Natland, Jean-Philippe Messier, Lasse Okkonen, Ed Forrest, Steve Taylor
  • Final remarks: Martin Price

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch (Restaurant Fransmanni)

14.00 – 21.00 Visit to North Karelia Biosphere Reserve (*)

Nature and Culture tourism: Governance and Networking in Practice

    • Departure by bus from main lobby
    • Drive through the biosphere reserve (Timo J. Hokkanen)
    • Visit to Hermanni winery (Nature and culture heritage in product development)
    • Coffee break
    • Visit to Parppeinvaara bardic village (Nature and culture tourism experiences in the biosphere reserve)
    • Final dinner at restaurant Parppeinpirtti, Ilomantsi (Karelian dinner)

Welcoming address by Marjut Ahokas, Mayor of Ilomantsi

20.00 – 21.00 Return to Joensuu (Estimated time of arrival, 21.00h)



(*) Please note that the field trip is fully booked now. If you have any question about it, please ask the registration desk or send an email to