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    The association releases bulletins and other current publications, provides training services and conducts studies, surveys and initiatives concerning the development of World Heritage Sites.

    The purpose of the tourism research project, initiated in 2017, was to collect comparable data on all World Heritage Sites and create a uniform tourist management system for all sites. A corresponding study will be carried out approximately every four years. The study was arranged to meet the goals of the National World Heritage Strategy of the Ministry of Education and Culture concerning raising general awareness of World Heritage, developing cooperation between the sites and researching the effectiveness of the sites.

    The cultural tourism project, initiated in 2018, provided a natural solution to the need arising from the tourism research project for the development of cultural tourism products for the sites and online access to information about World Heritage. The continued funding of the project enabled the reinforcement of the marketing channels of the World Heritage Sites and the development of site-specific indicators of sustainable tourism. The aim of the cultural tourism project is to meet the goals of the National World Heritage Strategy concerning expertise, accessibility and sustainable tourism.

    In 2020, the association compiled the Learn about World Heritage! website together with the Association of Cultural Heritage in Finland and added it to the sites’ common web pages that had been created earlier. The site has material to support World Heritage education and primary education. The site is intended as a material base for teachers and for getting to know world heritage, sustainable development and intangible cultural heritage. The project was arranged to meet the goals of the National World Heritage Strategy implementation plan to include World Heritage education in children’s primary education by adding the necessary high-quality material for teachers online.

    The association took a step towards increasingly high-quality visitor services in 2020-2021 by promoting the core messages of site presentation and communication. The main and sub-themes of the site interpretation create a basis for communication on world heritage which is understandable and which respects the values of the sites. The project strengthens the visitors’ knowledge of world heritage and understanding of the importance of site protection.

    The interpretation project received further funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture for the years 2021-2024. A follow-up project promoted world heritage communication with an interpretation plan based on themes – a World Heritage Operator’s Handbook. The project also included standardised visitor surveys to be carried out at all sites in 2022-2023. Visitor data was used to update the indicators of sustainable tourism in 2024. The interpretation project meets the goals of the implementation plan of the National World Heritage Strategy for strengthening knowledge of world heritage and developing the presentation of sites.

    The Association of World Heritage Sites in Finland put together a strategic basis for its operations and investigated the effectiveness of its operations with a stakeholder study in 2021. The research, carried out in cooperation with Taloustutkimus, an independent market research company in Finland, included an extensive online survey and a narrower sampling involving a thematic interview section. The association’s operational goals and priorities until 2030 were based on the association’s strategy and on the stakeholder research.