Joint Working Group on Tourism

The Barents Euro-Arctic Region is an attractive destination for international tourism. The significance of the tourism as a source of livelihood has grown considerably during the past decades.  Tourism business employs a lot of people thus providing income and welfare. This is very important especially in sparsely populated areas, where tourism is sometimes the only developing source of livelihood.

The Joint Working Group on Tourism was established to develop tourism business in the BEAR and to promote ecologically, socially and culturally sustainable tourism. In practice this means promoting multilateral co-operation and joint projects, networking and exchanging information and best practices.

The objectives of the JWGT:

  • to increase the international awareness of and interest in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (BEAR) and thus promote incoming tourism to the area
  • to promote the entrepreneurship and employment in the field of tourism in order to increase tourism revenue in the BEAR
  • to promote development and realization of cross-border tourist projects
  • to improve preconditions for tourism development in the BEAR e.g. by improving accessibility (flight and railway traffic),  developing all year round tourism and developing border crossing formalities
  • to maintain the unique tourism attractions of the BEAR by promoting the sustainable tourism development and by adapting to the challenges caused by the climate change
  • to build, develop, promote and market authentic high quality joint products based to the local cultures and traditions of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region, e.g. the cultures and traditions of the indigenous peoples
  • to co-operate in fields of tourism education and research in order to recognise and spread good practices

The initiative to establish a Joint Working Group on Tourism (JWGT) for Barents region made by the Russian Ministry of Tourism was officially approved by the Committee of Senior Officials February 2009. The Barents Regional Committee supported the initiative in Kirkenes (2008) and the JWGT was established. The Russian Ministry of Tourism was appointed as the chairman of the working group and Finnish Lapland as the regional co-chair.

The Joint Working Group on Tourism works on both national and region levels. The national level will provide information on the current state policy in this sphere, plans, programs, national legislation and amendments. The regional level is implementing the co-operation in practice.

The JWGT Mandate for 2013-2017 

The Barents Tourism Action Plan 

Members of the Joint Working Group on Tourism  


John-Steve Linløkken (co-chair) 
Marketing Director
Nord-Norsk Reiseliv AS
Tel: +47 90118556 


Anna Popova (co-chair)
Ministry of industrial development and enterprise of Murmansk
Tel: +7 8152486287+7 8152486287

Svetlana Zenovskaya 
Deputy Minister
Ministry of Culture of Arkhangelsk Region
Tel. +7 8182215569, +7 9212471181

Yulia Rybakova 
Director of the Tourism Agency of the Republic of Komi 
Tel.: +7 8212 30 12 90+7 8212 30 12 90 


Kairi Pääsuke
County Administrative Board of Norrbotten
Tel: +46 102255411+46 102255411, +46 705696349+46 705696349


Hanna-Mari Kuhmonen
Senior Officer
Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Tel. +358 295047008, +358 400395606

Satu Luiro
Tourism Coordinator
Regional Council of Lapland
Tel: +358 400124029+358 400124029

Tuomo Tahvanainen
Director of Tourism
Kainuun Etu Oy
Tel: +358 445514585+358 445514585


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