By Marjo Jussila, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Article with similar content in Finnish has previously been published in Lapland UAS blog.
In order to utilize the story and history of cultural heritage in the development of tourism, it is necessary to know the background and content of the stories in general. Our Struve North project disseminates knowledge about the Struve Geodetic Arc by collecting stories related to history and cultural heritage and shaping them into an easy-to-share format.
Photo 1: Developing new tourism services in workshop in Enontekiö, September 2021.
What are the interesting parts in stories related to Struve Geodetic Arc?
In the spring of 2021, the corona pandemic affected the action of the project and we were not able to organize f2f meetings and workshops responsibly and safely. Instead we organized five online webinars, where experts from different countries told about the history of the Struve Geodetic Arc and presented e.g. local measuring points and their current accessibility.
At the same time, the audience was activated and included in the ideation in a light way appropriate for listening to the webinars. Participants were asked e.g. to consider what things in the stories aroused interest and inspiration and what parts of these things they would like to share with their friends, families and colleagues. The aim was to identify what is interesting in cultural heritage and what could be the basis for new products and services.
Photo 2: Slido.com was used for brainstorming and audience activation in online webinars.
Brainstorming in nature
In the autumn of 2021, as the corona situation slightly improved, we could finally plan meetings, workshops and visits to various measurement points. In September we visited Enontekiö’s Jyppyrävaara (hyperlink: https://www.luontoon.fi/jyppyra), where after a short hike we heard about the explorations in the region. From the top of Jyppyrävaara, several measuring points of the Struve Geodetic Arc can be spotted and it can be easily reached directly along the path starting from the local Nature Center. The actual measurement points in the area are a little more challenging to reach.
After the hike, participants worked in groups on new service concepts for tourists and three very different types of services were created in connection with the Struve Geodetic Arc: a Cultural Trail-type guided tour for beginners, Struve Exploration Journey for experienced nature walkers and a Make Your Own Souvenir workshop in collaboration with museums and nature centers.
Pictures inspiring to come up with new services
In November, “The cultural coffee” event was organized at the Aavasaksan Paviljonki, focusing on the cultural history of the Tornio Valley and Ylitornio-Övertorneå region. We heard interesting presentations on the topic and created ideas for new tourism products and services related to the Struve Geodetic Arc, using pictures and templates as an inspiration.
Photo 3: In November, about 15 people interested in the cultural history of the Tornio Valley gathered at the Aavasaksan Paviljonki to hear and come up with ideas for tourism services in the area.
The same inspirational pictures and templates were also applied at the Tornio 400 anniversary seminar in November, where the theme was “Tornio Valley for Explorers.” With the help of inspirational pictures, ideas were developed quickly. The pictures inspired the participants and allowed them to put their own ideas and thoughts together on the template.
Photo 4: Two examples of ideas produced using inspiration pictures. Ideas are presented at a general level without all the details.
Doing it by hand -brainstorming
At the end of November, products and services were brainstormed in Juoksenki together with the Napapiirin kyläyhdistys (Local “Arctic Village Association”). More than 15 people interested in handicrafts came up with ideas for souvenir products. This time, the workshop equipment included a variety of materials and tools that, in the hands of handicraft people, turned into different prototypes of products aimed at tourists.
Photo 5: Various prototypes and ideas for souvenir products were prototyped from, for example, straws, wood, buttons, leather and wool yarn. In the photo there is the author’s suggestion for the Struve Decoration product.
All the ideas created in the workshops are summarized in the presentation here.
Link to the Google document that summarizes the ideas: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1MrVlTtqH0WroKWeUZkIA-gWqnalpPF7H/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=112036178783827522811&rtpof=true&sd=true