Sustainable Gateways

Small ports - sustainable gateways to coastal national parks

P3 Well-connected region

3.2. Improved services of existing small ports to improve local and regional mobility and contribute to tourism development

Archipelago and Islands

01.02.2018 - 31.10.2020

€1 730 631

€1 297 973

Project Summary:

ENDED. The Sustainable Gateways (SG) project develops small boat harbors located in national parks and nature reserves in the Finnish (4 harbors) and Swedish (3 harbors) outer archipelagoes. With the project´s support, these harbors become sustainable and attractive gateways destinations for boaters.

The project focuses on environmental sustainability, customer satisfaction, harbor operator´s business knowledge and increased regional nature-tourism and it is divided into four inter-linked work packages: 1) investments, 2) development of services and business, 3) marketing and networking and 4) environmental awareness. Investments, in the harbors,mean improved accessibility and safety thanks to increased pier capacity and better harbor planning. Environmental protection equipment such as waste water treatment and waste management facilities are updated. New service facilities will be built for visitors, e.g. saunas and service buildings. The operational development component improves the managerial skills of the harbor operators and encourages them to offer new services. This will be achieved by joint training, exchange of experiences and harbor-specific business development. Joint marketing increases visibility and attractiveness of the networked gateway harbors. Environmental information is distributed to visitors in the harbors to influence their behavior. These activities will increase mobility and nature-based tourism in the outer archipelagoes in a sustainable way.

The seven localities that the project is delevoping, will showcase sustainable and customer-oriented harbor management. In addition, the results of the project will be summarized into a Sustainable Harbor Development Manual to be used in developing other harbors with similar challenges and aims. Thus, the results may be disseminated to other harbors contributing to their development and environmental protection.

Lead Partner

Metsähallitus (Forststyrelsen)

Country: FI

Partner budget: 976.917 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 732.688 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Skärgårdsstiftelsen i Stockholms län

Country: SE,

Partner budget: 655.205 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 491.404 EUR ERDF

Turun yliopisto

Country: FI

Partner budget: 98.508 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 73.881 EUR ERDF

Expected results

Today´s boaters demand more and better harbor services. Responding to this challenge is necessary to maintain and increase the attractiveness of small boat harbors. The project will help harbors to react to - as well as anticipate - this challenge. As a result, nature-based tourism increases, mobility is improved and the regional benefits are distributed to a wide area.

Physical investments increase pier capacity and safety. Saunas, service buildings, toilets and drinking water supply raise the level of land services. Environmental protection equipment, eg. waste water facilities and composting units are examples of sustainability measures to protect the environment.

The business knowledge of operators will be significantly improved. They will understand their visitors, trends as well as their own business better. New service concepts and better understanding of the business potential support the economic sustainability of the companies. Harbor visibility and attractiveness are promoted by joint communication activities. The environmental awareness of boaters will be raised and their commitment to nature protection promoted with the environmental information activities in the harbors.

These seven gateway harbors will become showcases of small port development, customer satisfaction and environmental responsibility that benefits a large group of stakeholders. The project´s results will be summarized into a “Sustainable Harbor Development Manual” which facilitates the dissemination of the projects outcomes to other harbors. Such guidelines are very much needed as SAF and MH host a number of harbors in protected coastal areas and only some of them can be included in the project. In the long run, all harbors need to become as customer-oriented and sustainable as the seven developed in this project.