Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 587

587 Arctic Yearbook 2014   Sortavala, Svetloe Lake & Ruskeala Marble Canyon Leaving the Kolatselga village, we then headed to Sortavala to have lunch at Piypun piha restaurant which is one of the major partners of the “Eco-efficient Tourism Project”. We ended our field trip later that day very close to the Finnish border on the shores of Svetloe lake and the popular tourist destination Ruskeala Marble Canyon where we got the opportunity to visit the canyon grounds and lakeshore to see the new facilities that were introduced through the project. Upon our arrival at Ruskeala, we immediately saw the new state of the art lavatories, tourist information panels and a tourist information desk. The grounds also host a boutique and restaurant, and tourists can also buy local art by vendors on site (before or after spending some hours touring the marble grounds). Planners also integrated new camping sites on lake Svetloe with new grill cabins close to the canyon. From our experience on site, we take back the impression that the project has had a major impact on Ruskeala by transforming the marble canyon into a very attractive and interactive tourist destination on the Russian-Finnish border. It has also brought together partners to build a sustainable tourist attraction that could eventually serve as a model for other potential sites along the border. Discussing & Promoting (Regional) Arctic Cooperation in Russia