INTERREG BOTNIA-ATLANTICA AND INTERREG NORD 2014-2020 62 Stronger together – developing a unified destination in Arctic Europe 109 million Euro in new income to companies in the Visit Arctic Europe area. Over 300 new travel packages, attracting over 33 000 travelers. These are some of the incredible results of Visit Arctic Europe’s first phase. Now, the focus is to continue developing Finnish and Swedish Lapland, Northern Norway and Sápmi as one destination. – Nowwe see this area as a unified area, where companies cooperate. I’m very proud of that, says Rauno Posio, project leader from the Finnish Lapland Tourist Board. Visit Arctic Europe is a Interreg Nord cross-border project, designed to establish cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises. Long distances, accessibility, seasonal changes and company resources are some of the challenges. An important part of the project is to find ways for the companies in the area to VISIT ARCTIC EUROPE Lead partner: Finnish Lapland Tourist Board. Project partners: Northern Norway Tourist Board, Swedish Lapland Visitors Board. Priority area: Entrepreneurship. develop common cross-border tourism products, based on the unique conditions that exist in the area. One of the first main activities in the project was networking. And the work has been successful – the project has profoundly changed the way many companies in the area see each other. – When we started, these three regions were competing with each other. From that structure, we started to build a cooperation. Now we see this area as a unified area. and the companies cooperate. I’m very proud of this, says Rauno. John-Steve Linløkken is Project Manager from the Northern Norway Tourist Board: – The project Visit Arctic Europe has been a tremendous help for understanding and appreciating our three slightly different cultures – resulting also in very good and strengthened close cooperation between The Interreg Nord project Visit Arctic Europe II:s is working across the borders to market Finnish and Swedish Lapland, Northern Norway and Sápmi as an all year round sustainable and high-quality destination.