The final online seminar on KA9021 Project
The final seminar “Accessible Museum Services for Chinese Visitors and Prospects for the Development of International Tourism” took place on November 29, 2021.
Due to the coronavirus infection, the closing event was held online in ZOOM platform, which allowed to expand the geography of the project.
The participants of the seminar and the project team were greeted by distinguished guests from Russia and Finland: Leena Hoppania, Head of the Culture Department of the City of Joensuu, Consul Johannes Puukki, Dmitry Bazegsky, Head of the Petrozavodsk branch of CBC "Karelia" and a representative of Rostourism Department of International Cooperation.
Tatyana Saltykova, the project manager, and Sami Tanskanen, the project coordinator from the Finnish side, presented the results of the project achieved for two years by both the partners: the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia and the Museums of Joensuu.
Within the project implementation the partners worked in three big blocks: training and education; creation and development of tourism services and products; promotion of created services and products.
The educational block included seminars and working trips. In the situation of the pandemic we managed quickly to adapt the working process. While the first seminar was organized offline, the project team used Skype and ZOOM to effectively implement the rest of the activities. Leading experts from Russia and Finland were involved in public events of the project, for example, a seminar held at the end of January 2021. This contributed to the fact that more than 120 people took part in the seminar, the geography of the participants was really impressive: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, Murmansk, Kaluga, Lugansk, Veliky Ustyug, Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl, Stavropol, Crimea, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) , Chuvashia, Finland, its regions and many others. They were representatives of the cultural, educational and tourism communities, local authorities, mass media, nonprofit organizations and etc. It is interesting that it was the pandemic that made it possible to significantly expand the geography of the event participants.
Within the the second block of activities, great and visible results were achieved. In the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia: modernization of the entrance area of the museum, installation of a new visual navigation system, creation of an audio guide in four languages, creation of a new section of the permanent exhibition in the Museum dedicated to the Kalevala epic poem.
As for the promotion block, the project team took part in the travel exhibitions "MITT" and "OTDYKH" (Moscow, Russia), as well as in the Helsinki Matka Nordic Travel Fair in online format at the Matka workshop day digital. In an online format at Matka workshop day digital, the partners held online meetings with representatives of Chinese travel companies from Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, as well as employees of travel agencies from India, Italy and Finland (Helsinki, Lisalmi, Imatra). Each meeting is an exchange of contacts, a promotional story about the created tourist services and products and the possibilities of museums to receive foreign tourists.
The Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia has developed promotional materials (a booklet), prepared advertising information in the leading tourist catalog "Travel in Russia" (circulation 10 thousand copies), as well as an additional version on the tourist portal turlog.ru.
In June 2021, a visit of federal experts from Moscow was organized to analyze and test the created products and services. Leading sinologists, representatives of the tourism and museum sectors spent the whole day in the Museum of Karelia, studying the innovations, and then shared positive comments on their social networks, and also gave interviews to the regional Karelian media. The guests of the expert tour were greeted in video format by Ms. Gong Jiajia, Minister-Counselor for Culture of the China Embassy in the Russian Federation, Director of the Chinese Cultural Center in Moscow.
Promotional meetings were also organized for the representatives of travel companies and accommodation services in Petrozavodsk.
For online promotion of the project in China, 4 leading travel platforms were selected - Mafengwo, Ctrip, Qyer, Lvmama, where texts about visiting the museum with professional photos were posted in the format of a blogger's review. The museum was also geolocated on Chinese Baidu maps. Some of the platforms make it possible to track the number of views, in the first week the material was read by more than 10 thousand users. Professional photographs with Chinese people make advertising more understandable and well-perceived for the target audience.
A Chinese branch of the official site of the Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia was developed, including creation of a new structure, preparation of materials in Russian for translation, translation in Chinese, creation of photo and video content. The site branch was launched in the fall of 2021.
The Joensuu museums also implemented audio guides to all three museum sites, the North Karelia Museum in Hilma, the Joensuu Art Museum in Onni and the Joensuu Bunker Museum. The museums signs were renewed to take better account of international tourists. In addition, museums in Joensuu produced brochures and implemented a digital marketing campaign.
Cooperation within the framework of the project for two years has shown its effectiveness. Without well-coordinated teamwork, the partners would not have been able to implement the project at such a high level.
In the second part of the seminar, reports were presented by the invited experts from the tourism and marketing industry. Experts talked about the long-term impact of the pandemic on international tourism. There may not be a return to travelling in its traditional understanding, but speakers discussed how the tourism industry could adapt to our "new" future.
Two years ago, when the project "Museums in focus" started, the world looked completely different. Rarely can you face such massive global changes that have such a fundamental impact on the lives of people and societies all over the world within one project implementation. Hardly anyone at the start of the project in January 2020 could predict what kind of world we will live in at the end of this 2021. But the project team managed to meet all the challanges of our new reality.
The broadcast record in Russian:
The broadcast record in Finnish: