In March of 2001 under the program of EU Tasis the Russian-Finnish project directed on development of reproduction of the population of salmon, fishery and tourism on the river Hijtolanjoki of Lahdenpohsky district was begun. Within the framework of the project completed in August of 2002 four educational seminars were held on preparation of businessmen in the sphere of tourism. The final seminar was held on June 13-15 in the settlement of Hiitola. People interested in development of tourism, including representatives of the State Committee of the RK on Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, local administration and the Finnish experts, - total about 40 person have taken part in it.
One of priorities of the project is the increase of population of salmon in Hijtolanjoki. The research of the Karelian scientists carried out at the end of XX century has shown that salmon herd of Hijtolanjoki is the biggest on Ladoga and can be increased by ten times in case of expanding the places of spawning due to that part of the river which is located in the territory of Finland. At the first stage of work of the project the channel of the river was cleared away and the fish began to rise to this territory. Rise of salmon was prevented by artificial obstacles in Finland: dams of three working power stations in which it is necessary to create fish passage systems.Within the process of solution of this problem there was a project of restoration of the deserted power station in the Russian near the rapids of Surjakoski, that, from the point of view of ecologists, would entail drainage of rapids of the river and would destroy 80 percents of the places of spawning.
As a result of long negotiations the issue on creation of new power station was closed, and construction of fish passage systems in dams will be organized within the framework of the Inrerreg project.
The solution of problems of fish breeding and the licensed catching of the fish, revealed during the work of the project, gradually will reduce the poaching and will bring the essential income of tourism. An example for comparison: cost of 1kg of salmon in the trading network of Finland makes 70 marks, the same volume of the fish caught by the organized tourist, will be repaid in 1500 marks (in the view of service).
Development of fishing tourism in vicinities of the river Hiitolanjoki will promote development of business, employment of the population, stabilization of social and economic conditions, bring decision of nature protection tasks. In May of the present year the group of participants of the project rafting down the Hiitolanjoki river has disassembled thirteen natural blockages, and has come to a conclusion, that for development of tourism along the river it is necessary ti assort blockages regularly.
Within the framework of the project the experts working in sphere of tourism were offered the Finnish experience of the organization of fishing tourism with its further use in the territory of Hiitolanjoki river. It was necessary to organize preparation of businessmen, to develop tourist products, to create partner relations between tour agencies. During work of the project materials on use of resources of the river basin were prepared in view of fishery and ecological tourism, the plan of land tenure was created, clearing of natural blockages on all extent of the river was accomplished, the general marketing plan was created. In the long term there are creation of information tourist points in Lahdenpohja, Kurkieki and Hiitola, preparation of the tourist guidebook. Participants of the seminar working in groups were engaged in discussion of realness of the tourist routes created by them earlier. With this purpose of testing available tourist products th following events were organized: excursion over vicinities of the settlement of Hijtola, trial rafting on Hiitolanjoki, horse route (Pegas club, Lahdenpohja) and electrofishing (a scientific method of research of a livestock of a fish) was also carried out.