Metla Project 3463

The meaning of tourism and recreation in rural development and landscape

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Duration: 2007-2011   Keywords: entrepreneurship, landscape, multiple use of forests, nature-based tourism, regional development, rural development, rural industries, second homes , social sustainability
Research Programme: Wellbeing from forests


Nature-based tourism and recreation are becoming more and more important modes of forest use. The present and expected future growth of nature-based tourism means new kinds of challenges to the use of forests and also to the rural industrial development. The increasing meaning of landscape and recreation values, and also the wider change in societal values, demands research that examines the expectations of different actor groups of forest landscape and forestry. From the perspective of the comprehensive development of rural industrial life it is also crucial how the new needs and demands are answered.

This project examines what are the non-wood values and objectives regarding the forest use that different actor groups have, and how to reconcile these values to the traditional forestry. Secondly, the project studies the possibilities of tourism and recreation to diversify the industrial structure and vitality in rural living. Tourism is quite new rural industry and its growth is strongly supported by public policy. The new kinds of forest use, however, bring new challenges to traditional rural industries and to rural enterprises. The study of the viewpoints of different actor groups helps to understand what the outsiders expect from rural landscapes and what are the possibilities of the rural residents to answer to these expectations.

The project consists of three concrete sub-projects. In the sub-project “Tourists’ landscape and environment values” the landscape and nature-use are examined from the tourists point of view. These tourists’ views are compared to those of local views and experiences. The second sub-project called “Socially and economically sustainable forestry in nature tourism areas” evaluates the different forest management alternatives, their cost effects and the attitudes of different actor groups towards different management options. The third sub-project concentrates on the totality of rural development. The study examines the possibilities of tourism as part or even substitute of the traditional rural industries, and the possibility of tourism to bring new residents to the peripheral regions.

Project leader: Tuulentie, Seija
The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovanniemi Office, PL 16, FI-96301 ROVANIEMI, FINLAND
Phone: +358 29 532 4438 Telefax: +358 29 532 2103

Other researchers: Ahtikoski, Anssi, RO (2007-11), Berninger, Kati (2009), Hakkarainen, Maria (2007-08,2010), Hallikainen, Ville, RO (2007-11), Helle, Timo, RO (2007-11), Huhta, Esa, RO (2010-11), Jokinen, Mikko, KO (2008-11), Järviluoma, Jari (2010), Kietäväinen, Asta (2008-10), Leskinen, Pekka, JO (2007), Mikkola, Kari, RO (2007,2011), Nakkula, Johanna (2010), Nikkola, Kirsi (2010), Silvennoinen, Harri, VA (2007-10), Tolvanen, Anne, MU (2009,2011), Tyrväinen, Liisa, RO (2007-11), Vaarala, Hanne (2009-10)

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Updated 13.04.2011