Lights On!

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.1. Natural and cultural resources developed into sustainable tourist attractions

Southern Finland - Estonia

01.09.2015 - 28.02.2019

€1 861 669

€1 466 852

Project Summary:

The Estonian and Finnish culture have been in a constant interaction since prehistoric time. There are historical key sites on both sides of the Gulf of Finland, from where the areas have been reigned or the control of them have been contested. At present many of these sites are undeveloped and unknown as tourist attractions. The Lights On! sites have a high potential to become attractive tourist destinations.

The Lights On! project will design and package eight historical sites into attractive tourist attractions, by improving visitor experience, on-site services, creating joint marketing tools and developing new creative products. Infrastructure will be developed for improving visitor experience and also to improve sustainability by e.g. protecting vulnerable areas from visitor flows. Cross-border cooperation of educational institutes brings in new kind of expertise in cultural management and creative entrepreneurship. New products will be developed in cooperation with local entrepreneurs by using innovative service designing concepts.

Creating attractive new products and new marketing tools will increase visitor numbers on sites, attract new visitor groups and attract visitors to move between the sites. When local communities start benefitting from the sites and participate in project events their awareness of the historical and natural values will rise. The project will enlighten the history of the North-Eastern Baltic Sea.

Lead Partner

Metsähallitus Luontopalvelut

Country: FI,

Partner budget: 818.009 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 613.507 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Riigimetsa Majandamise Keskus

Country: EE

Partner budget: 601.000 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 510.850 EUR ERDF

Suomen Humanistinen Ammattikorkeakoulu

Country: FI

Partner budget: 337.660 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 253.245 EUR ERDF

Tartu Ülikooli Viljandi Kultuuriakadeemia

Country: EE

Partner budget: 105.000 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 89.250 EUR ERDF

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Joint tourist attraction

LightsOn! - historical sites as a joint attraction

The project LightsOn! combined eight historical sites in Finland and Estonia into a joint attraction. This was achieved through activities that included e.g. themed events with light installations, a mobile application and an entrepreneur training programme. The training resulted in better involvement of local communities whereas the events (16 in total) helped raise awareness about the sites and attracted new target groups. The events advanced marketing as well which was done under a single visual appearance as an event locations. 
In addition to joint activities and events, infrastructure was improved at selected sites. Infrastructure improvements include building or renovating viewing platforms, stairs, picnic tables, information boards and installing permanent lightning to allow visits after sunset.
Light-themed events attracted 23 000 visitors altogether. Participant numbers ranged from an intimate 75 persons to approximately 8000 at the Valge Öö Keila-Joal festival. The yearly increase of site visits was 32 900 (mostly Vallisaari in 2016) and the total number of new visitors was 56 200. Increase of yearly visitor numbers is yet expected to show in next few years as all construction work is now finished and sites with improvements can now be taken into full use.
Developed Finnish sites of the LightsOn! attraction

  1. Raasepori castle ruin, Raaseporin linnantie 110, Raasepori
  2. Kuusisto castle ruin, Linnanrauniontie 634, Kaarina
  3. Rapola hill fort, Sääksmäentie 770, Valkeakoski
  4. Vallisaari fortress island, Helsinki

Developed Estonian sites of the LightsOn! attraction

  1. Varbola hill fort, Põlli, Raplamaa
  2. Lõhavere hill fort fortress, 71209 Viljandimaa
  3. Neeruti hill fort, 45224 Lääne-Viru maakond
  4. Keila-Joa borough, 76701 Harju maakond

Mobile guide, FIN:
Mobile guide, EST:
Mobile game: 
Project visual final Prez-report:

Project page in database
At a glance
  • Eight historical sites developed into a joint attraction
  • Innovative approaches for creating a joint attraction from separate sites

Internet presence

Webpage 1

Webpage 2


YouTube Channel

Project videos

Rapola palaa 23 Sep 2018
Flash Vallisaari 21.-22.9.2018

Social Streams