The project activities focused on two islands, Vasikkasaari in Helsinki and Aegna in Tallinn. Both islands were developed into attractive nature tourism destinations taking their sensitive archipelago values strongly into account. For that reason, the project piloted new, innovative and smart solutions to both ensure nature protection in the locations, and at the same time to increase attractiveness of these islands. The smart digital solutions developed also enhance participants’ experiences in these islands.
During the project some construction work was also be carried out on the islands to ensure easy and enjoyable visits. The target group of the project were both local and foreign visitors, as well as the cities in which the islands are located and which benefit from both the increase in visitor numbers and also from the smart solutions in their environmental protection work in the islands. The long term objective of the project is with the increasing visitor numbers also to benefit the tourism and service business, and also to increase environmental awareness of the visitors and other stakeholders.
During the development of these nature destinations it was made sure that the development of these locations was done in a way to ensure a net positive impact to the natural resources. This was done by developing methods to minimize the harmful impacts and to maximize the educational and recreational positive impacts for visitors who decide to visit the islands.
The two sites, Vasikkasaari and Aegna, were be branded as a new smart and ecologically sustainable eco island examples for nature tourism across the Gulf of Finland. Thanks to the project the islands feature exciting new smart solutions, new routes, new services and infrastructure, new educational information and new participation opportunities through citizen science methods.