About the project

Gastro workshops is a two-year food tourism development project operating in Southern Finland (5 provinces). The project will start in August 2021. The project is owned and implemented by Lomalaidun ry Association.

Background for the project

Rapid social changes, especially the current corona pandemic, have changed business opportunities across the country, especially in the tourism industry. Rural tourism companies outside the growth centers need coping and operating methods and service products in a weakened and new market situation. By increasing the food tourism services year-round tourism can be promoted. Assistance is especially needed for productization, marketing and the development of a digital service path.

The project seeks to improve the skills of entrepreneurs in the tourism sector in a rural area. The aim is to design and implement a Gastro -workshop learning program and materials for tourism entrepreneurs in order to increase the product and quality competence of responsible food tourism, the related marketing competence and the ability to change. The aim is also to increase the well-being. As a result, 100 tourism entrepreneurs have participated in a learning program with 15–20 workshops and utilized the e-learning environment related to the workshops.

Gastro workshops contribute to the increase of entrepreneurs’ competence in responsible actions, e.g. as consuming local food and reducing wasted food. The ability of tourism entrepreneurs to make decisions in difficult and rapidly changing social situations increases when they have the competence to direct the marketing at different customer groups, to implement different types of marketing and to innovate new or modified food tourism services in a changing market.

In the long term, the impact will be the business continuity, more job opportunities, stronger cooperation networks, and increased number of customers and purchases in the tourism enterprises and other companies in the region. The equality between businesses in urban and sparsely populated area increases.