Visitor Centers and the Visitors

About the project

The goal is to mediate a solution for improved protection of the natural beauty and ecology of National Parks and Protected Areas on one hand and the interests of the tourists on the other.

Nature-based tourism is a growing industry and the Nordic countries have experienced rapid growth in this area in recent years.

This growth brings various challenges relating to the pressure of growing visitor numbers on environmental and social local resources. Not only has the number of visitors increased, but more visitors also arrive that seem to have low pre-existing knowledge of how to behave in nature. Also, new forms of self-organized user activities and social media communication channels have changed travel behavior. Places that only a few years ago were destinations for regional or national tourists have now become global destinations.

As this change seems to be a common challenge for all the Nordic countries this project aims to focus on this new reality with the goal to see how this is impacting our nature reserves and national parks; find ways to deal with this by analyzing the guests that visit the high north, and utilize Nordic visitor centers more efficiently to inform the guests before entering the areas.

On the basis of various approaches, the participating experts are discussing the countries' current situation and working on a general solution for all high North regions.

Policy recommendation

  • Create a platform for employees of Nordic visitor centres to share knowledge and strengthen visitor centres as a concept.

  • Create a webpage for interested internet travellers and future guests which will serve as a front page for Nordic visitor centres. The page would share the locations of the visitor centres and links to each of their local pages with more detailed information


Davíð Örvar Hansson (Iceland)

Eva Lingaard (Norway)

Saara Airaksinen (Finland)

Ragna Fanney Jóhannsdóttir (Iceland)

Linda Sörnäs (Sweden)