The goal is to provide advice and methods for tackling challenges in visitor management in the Nordic north. The group is working on how to communicate and market the right information that supports sustainable tourism in the Nordic north so that both nature and visitors experience can bloom side by side.
Nature-based tourism has a long tradition in Nordic countries and is now a fast-growing industry on a global scale. Consequently, in the last years, the Nordic countries have experienced rapid growth in numbers of visitors. As a result, this rapid change has brought various challenges. Some popular nature attractions are dealing with crowding, environmental damage, costly rescue operations, and overload on public infrastructure. Growing visitor numbers create pressure on local environmental and social resources. New forms of self-organized user activities and social media communication channels have brought changes to travel behavior and increased this pressure. The conclusion is that the challenge for Nordic national parks is to prepare for increasing numbers and new types of visitors and doing so without making short-term adaptations that might in turn devalue the unique, wild nature and landscape that visitors come to experience.
On the basis of the current situation in each of the countries, the participating experts are discussing and formulating policy advice for visitor management in national parks and other nature reserves in the high north, with special focus on this new challenge of increasing numbers and new types of visitors. This will be substantiated by examples that show how rules and regulations can be communicated in an empowering manner and be easily understood by visitors and tour operators.
Linda Björk Hallgrímsdóttir (Iceland)
Hrafnhildur Ævarsdóttir (Iceland)
Ingrid Vaagland Stav (Norway)
Saara Airaksinen (Finland)
Camilla Nasstrom (Sweden)
Jens Munch-Petersen (Greenland)