Global Network of National Geoparks

Marketing geological heritage and knowledge in finland

Published :March 17, 2008
J. nenonen1 & P. johansson2
1Geological Survey of Finland, P.O. Box 1237, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland
2Geological Survey of Finland, P.O. Box 77, FIN-96101 Rovaniemi, Finland

Keywords: Geotourism, geological sites, mapping, education, Finland

At present tourism is considered to be the fastest growing industry worldwide. In Finland, the use of geology and geological sites as a promoter of tourism and as a producer of further information is rather new and therefore rare.

The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) has already worked for several years with the clear aim of spreading knowledgy about geological heritage to the public, to the tourism sector, and to paces of education. The key task has also been the increase of geological knowledge in basic school education.

With the aims of marketing geological heritage and of increasing geological knowledge, the GTK makes an evaluation of regional nature values, mapping and popularization of nature targets, the design of nature parks, trails and visitor centers, the production of educational and tuition materials the organization of training for teachers, civil servants and local people, and staff training. The work has been done in many places in different parts of Finland in cooperation with local government areas, towns, companies from the tourism sector, and with other organizations. Examples of this work are geological exhibitions in the information centres of the national parks in Finland, geological trails in parks, geological centers, geological outdoor maps and geological tuition materials for schools. The influence of this work can be seen in increased number of visitors in geological sites and routes. Many safari companies which are organizing guided tours in the nature have taken geology in their programs.

Concurrent with geological work, the GTK has mapped geologically valuable natural sites. As a result of the mapping work, a geological outdoor map series has been developed for people interested in nature. On the maps, geological sites in the areas are shown and an explanation is given of their development and their effect on the existing nature and landscape. The maps have been made from the larger national park areas of Finland. The field work for the newest map has been made from the Pyhä-Luosto National Park area in Lapland where geology is one of the most important themes. In this area, the GTK has worked in cooperation with Metsähallitus-The National Forest and Park Service in mapping and making an inventory of geological sites. A joint objective is to link Pyhä-Luosto National Park and the surrounding tourist area to the international Geopark network.