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The Kiviniemi tourist farm next to Koli and Koli National Park is one of the starting and ending points of the Herajärvi Tour, as well as a central hub. In the photo, Kontiolahti Outdoor's Mika Okkonen (left) and Kimmo Turunen. Photo: Kontiolahti municipality / Niina Vatanen.


Program services for outdoor activities in transition in North Karelia: Kontiolahti Outdoor's offering expands to the entire province

As the new operator of the Kiviniemi tourist farm located near Koli, Kontiolahti Outdoor wants to develop the farm's services to be more versatile and year-round than before. Kontiolahti Outdoor's group programs are now available not only in the Joensuu region but also in, for example, Kol and Bomba.

Kontiolahti Outdoor, which offers, among other things, guided exercise and outdoor activities for tyhy groups, equipment rental and meeting services, is expanding its operations throughout the province.

"Our home is still in Kontiolahti, but we bring group activity services to customer groups more widely in the Joensuu region and other parts of the province, for example Koli and Nurmesen Bomba", says CEO Kimmo Turunen.

Large groups as a special feature

Kontiolahti Outdoor started the development of year-round program services with an emphasis on outdoor sports in 2020. Now the goal is to further increase operations.

"We have grown into the largest player in the field in North Karelia. The plan is to increase program service operations even further," Turunen says.

Kontiolahti Outdoor does not produce motorized activities but guides customers to move with their own muscle power. Authors and equipment can be found in your own back or in the cooperation network of partners.

"Our special feature is that with the help of the partnership network, we can scale the services from small groups to groups of tens or hundreds of people. So far, our largest empty program service group has been 500 people."

Kiviniemi tourist farm: Aiming for services all year round

Kontiolahti Outdoor starts as a tenant of Kiviniemi tourist farm located in Herajärvi, the northernmost village of Kontiolahti, at the beginning of April. The technical board of Kontiolahti municipality, which owns the facility, chose a new tenant on Tuesday.

"The new base means diversification of services and expansion of operations for both Kiviniemi tourism farm and Kontiolahti Outdoor. From the farm, we can serve tourists from the Koli region, hikers of the Herajärvi Tour, as well as corporate and other groups enjoying themselves in the bosom of nature," says Turunen.

The farm's accommodation sheds will be open to hikers in May.

"For the whole year, the main goals are to get the new main building in working order and to secure accommodation and maintenance services for hikers from spring to autumn. In order to diversify the space's services, we are looking for partners from, for example, companies offering relaxation services. We want to start partnership negotiations as soon as possible."

Turunen says that there are plans for Kiviniemi's tourist farm, according to which operations will be developed to be more year-round than before. However, he also asks for ideation help from the village community, municipal residents, other tourism operators and communities interested in nature-based activity services.

"We want to develop the farm's services based on demand. In February-March, we will launch an online survey, with which we will map the wishes of individual citizens and communities about what expectations and wishes others have for the future of the Kiviniemi farm."