About our business and why it exists

About our business and why it exists

The Cooperative for Cultural and Experience Travel in Lahti, also known as ELMA Tours (ELMA Matkat), is a cooperative founded in early 2014. We focus on sustainable tourism and cultural activities. Our goal is to develop and promote unique experiences, nature and cultural tourism as well as record and preserve the cultural heritage and historical patrimony of Lahti, Päijät-Häme area and its surrounding areas.

The cooperative also supports museums, entrepreneurs and companies that, through their activities, nurture the cultural and natural values ​​of the region and promote their activities in accordance with sustainable principles.

As a travel agency we produce and sell tour packages, provide professional guiding services and visa services to Russia. We are constantly improving and increasing our travel services according to our members and costumer´s wishes. Our goal is to stand out from other travel agents providing adventurous excursions and quality guide services.

You are welcome to visit our office at Loviisankatu 3 in Lahti to discuss your travel ideas and we will make them come true. We are ready to help our independent travelers searching for hotels, guide services, train timetables to Russian railways and purchasing train tickets. Two good examples of our package tours for independent travellers happened last year, when we organized a group self-guided tour for seven people through Siberia to Vladivostok and another for 3 people for a group trip through Siberia to Mongolia and Beijing. Both succeeded.

Besides the services above mentioned, the cooperative also offers and has:

  • Computer advisory servies;
  • Selling and promotion of manufactured products, jewelry, among other items.
  • Educational services: in 2015 and in 2016, the cooperative trained, with its partners, Lahti City guides who were fluent in Russian.
  • Projects: In 2015, the Cooperative launched the Via Kalevala 2016-2035. The project has led to the establishment of a cooperation network in Kalevala tradition around themed tourism on both sides of the border between Finland and Russia. Another project is the “Ylinen Viipurintie” that aims to built cultural, natural and adventure tourism content for Green International Belt project and Salpausselkä Geopark project.

Our business is evolving through a network of members and partners which comprises almost 40, and the number is increases all the time. We involve individuals and associations in our activities as well as various players in the tourism industry, and cultural services companies. We all welcome interested in tourism, culture and adventure activities. You can participate in our activities as a member of a cooperative, as a partner or consumer of tourism services.