Urban and Smart Island Tourism Destinations

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.1. Natural and cultural resources developed into sustainable tourist attractions

Archipelago and Islands

01.04.2019 - 30.06.2021

€1 093 704

€858 226

Project Summary:

The twin city area of Helsinki and Tallinn has the potential to offer nature-oriented tourist attractions. Because of their strong archipelago vocation, the islands of Vasikkasaari in Helsinki and Aegna in Tallinn have been selected as pilot destinations to test new, innovative and smart solutions to ensure nature protection whilst increasing the attractiveness of the islands. URBAN ECO ISLANDS project aims to increase environmentally conscious tourism in the area.
The smart digital solutions included in the project will enhance the experiences of both local and foreign visitors, as well as the cities in which the islands are located. Helsinki and Tallinn will benefit from the increase in visitor numbers, the investments in waste management and boardwalks as well as smart from the solutions developed by the project to improve the environmental protection of these islands.

Lead Partner

Helsingin kaupungin ympäristöpalvelut

Country: FI


Partner budget: 365.060 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 273.795 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Tallinna Kesklinna Valitsus

Country: EE


Partner budget: 215.020 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 182.767 EUR ERDF

Forum Virium Helsinki Oy

Country: FI


Partner budget: 349.172 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 261.879 EUR ERDF

Stockholmi Keskkonnainstituudi Tallinna Keskus

Country: EE


Partner budget: 164.452 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 139.784 EUR ERDF

Expected results

The project’s main results are as follows:
1. A new attractive and smart urban island tourism concept and joint destination will be created. The development of the islands is done ecologically and sustainably (economic, environmental, social/cultural). This new concept will be implemented in Vasikkasaari and in Aegna where visitors are expected to increase due to the project activities and the advertising efforts. The estimated increase will be 20 000 visitors per year.
Business from servics on both islands is expected to develop as a long term result. Already during the project 4 new service providers will start their operations.
2. New smart and innovative ways to monitor environmental impacts of tourism will be developed and implemented on the two islands. The concepts and best practices related to smart solutions will be integrated into the Handbook for smart and sustainable ecological tourism in small urban islands for replication.
3. Traditional info boards, boardwalks, railings, viewing platforms and other recreational infrastructures have been built or renovated on the islands to enhance the visitor experience and the accessibility of all people visiting the islands.
4. Through the active participation of both the locals and visitors, both in the data creation and also in the co-creation activities the environmental awareness has deepened and the interest towards the new destinations has increased.
5. Active marketing activities and results dissemination the new joint destinations gain publicity and both local and international interest.
6. The concept, process and content based on evaluated experiences in this project will inform the integrated destination development model and handbook

All the results are linked directly to SO 2.1 where the main objectives are to increase the number of new tourism destinations, increase the number of visitors in them and to make the development sustainable by taking the ecological values into account.