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Cooperative for Cultural and Experience Travels in Lahti Region

The Cooperative for Cultural and Experience Travel in Lahti, also known as ELMA-tours focus on sustainable tourism and cultural activities. We support local culture heritage projects like railway history experiences with steam train in areas with rich geological. sociocultural tradition. Our support methods have been to built the networks for Cultural and experience heritage research. We have been succesful to built the university networks in Finland like Rovaniemi, Joensuu, Helsinki and Turku Universities. Our aim is to start to built also the network with European Universities to the year 2027 with our proposal of Horizon project.

Via Kalevala 2016-2035 is our main project. Its origin is in Paikkarin Torppa Sammatti, where Elias Lönnroth was born. We walked in 2016 through Finland to Kalevala in Russian North Carelia 1000 km in 64 days.  During this walk we understood the urgent need to rebuilt Finnish village Countryside available for heritage tourism.

The start of Via Kalevala has been a great success. We have been able to built the network in Eastern Finland that locally built new baths and water roads like Vienan Reitti ry in Suomussalmi and the close Co-operation with the Singing Road and the University of Joensuu to development of EU Horizon project.

Ylinen Viipurintie, the culture road from Hanko, where Salpausselkä rises from the Sea and reaches to Salpausselkä Geopark area to join geological, sociocultural, industrialization and war history of Southern Finland together. We started Ylinen Viipurintie project in 2019 as our innovation for Lahti European Green City project. During our project we produced QR-code model for quiding services in the City Centre of Lahti.

This Year we are going to continue the development project together with Salpausselkä Unesco Global Geopark actions and with local actors that develop new sustainable tourism services in our area. We try to build networks that are prepared both saving the nature, develop traditional roads for walking, biking, travelling in traditional trains, Church Boat Rowing.

From our 20 years wievpoint on Via Kalevala we understand Ylinen Viipurintie road as a part of Via Kalevala. When Elias Lönnroth started from Paikkarin Torppa Sammatti in 1828 for Collectinc old Finnish poem heritage, the road followed mainly Ylinen Viipurintie road in Southern Finland. So Lönnroths'  paths join to the same interesting cultural stratification.

Our activities focus on Health Exercise. Finnish nature in Geopark areas gives excellent frames for the new Cultural and experience package production. ELMA-tours focus on the change from nature consuming mass tourism to nature saving and local cultural heritage respecting road. We support the actions in Tourism development  that respect local minorities' traditions, like Carelian people in Eastern Finland and Russian area and samean people  in Norhearn areas (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia).

Local war history, like civil War in Finland in 1918 has been our third project. The hidden victims of the war in Southern Finland in areas by German occupation, like Hanko, Tammisaari and Lahti has been our interest area. We started the project in 2018 with international Human Right acivists like Helena Ranta and archeologists in Turku University.

We have noticed that many young people are seeking their roots and family history and are interested in the places where their ancestors have deceased. On 3th of April 2022 we organized the Steam train event form Lahti to Hanko focused both railway history and Civil war history on Anniversary day of German troops landing in Hanko. The event had a great success with 280 people. We started the project to research Hennala prison Camp victims in 2018 to get there the memorial for victims. Our project is still in progress.