Information on recreation and tourism in spatial planning in the Swedish mountains - methods and need for knowledge

Document type: Licentiates
Full text:
Author(s): Tuomas Vuorio
Title: Information on recreation and tourism in spatial planning in the Swedish mountains - methods and need for knowledge
Series: Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Series
Year: 2003
Issue: 3
Pagination: 171
ISBN: 91-7295-022-6
ISSN: 1650-2140
Publisher: Blekinge Institute of Technology
City: Karlskrona
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Spatial Planning (Institutionen för fysisk planering)
Dept. of Spatial Planning S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/eng/ifp/
Authors e-mail: Tuomas.Vuorio@lamk.fi
Language: English
Abstract: The Swedish mountain region makes up about one third of the country but includes less than 2 per cent of the population. It stretches for over 1000 km and includes 90 per cent of the total nature conservation area in Sweden. With its 8000 km of hiking trails and 100 mountain huts and lodges it is one of the most important areas for outdoor recreation and tourism - visited by one fourth of the Swedish adult population every year. With the current decline of the extractive industries tourism has become an important development issue in the area.
Effective spatial planning in the mountains presupposes good information on tourism and outdoor recreation. Municipalities need adequate data to base planning on. One precondition for more effective information supply to spatial planning is research and development of methods. It must be possible to follow developments, predict environmental effects and effects on user attitudes, satisfaction etc. There are big differences between visitors in the mountains. Their needs and interest in different nature experiences, their tolerance towards crowding and contacts with other users vary a lot. It is important for planning and management to find out which qualities users are looking for and appreciating and to have a clear picture of the variance between different users.
Management of recreation areas is normally combined with conservation and often has two goals: i) to maintain “natural conditions” and ii) to provide recreation opportunities. These two goals will often be contradictory. Resolving this conflict is both a theoretical and practical problem. The discourse within spatial planning differs from the nature conservation discourse. While the nature conservation discourse comes from a tradition of “calculating rationality” and a scientific, central view that points out the foremost values – “national interests”, national parks, world heritage areas – the basis of the spatial planning ideology in Sweden is a conception of local, political decision making. The Swedish planning system with a planning monopoly and veto of the municipalities is in theory a system with deliberative or communicative rationality: the plan is supposed to express citizens’ will and needs expressed through their representatives.
How to provide the planning system with relevant information on different levels, i.e. information that can be used for predicting different reactions to different management actions in order to be able to handle conflicts will be one of the central questions in the thesis. Special attention will be paid to different methods of measuring nature tourism and outdoor recreation.
Self registration combined with satisfactory studies on non participation can give a relatively good synoptic picture of the use of the area. At the same time it is obvious that the non participation varies too much geographically and between different points of time for self registration alone to be used for studying frequencies and patterns of use. Flight observations carried out as a part of the study in Södra Jämtlandsfjällen (article II) proved to be a good method of studying the patterns of camping. They were also important for conflict analysis and studying divergences. The indirect methods for estimating the total number of visitors have to be calibrated often, which can be difficult (for example number of visitors in a car or a buss). The indirect methods risk missing factors that make it possible to get indications of possible tendencies in the use of an area.
In situations where conflicts exist, it is important that the picture of the present situation is well established and legitimate. This means that both methods and the actors participating in the study have to be experienced as legitimate by all parties taking part in the planning process.
A general conclusion is that there are not any good shortcuts to useful knowledge about outdoor recreation and tourism for planning as a whole, for management or for EIA. Need for predictions is far too big to make indirect data useful alone.
Three studies are presented: i) a national screener study on current tourism patterns in the Swedish mountain region, ii) a case study among the visitors in Södra Jämtlandsfjällen and iii) a case study among the residents in Södra Jämtlandsfjällen.
Summary in Swedish: Effektiv fysisk planering i fjällen förutsätter tillförlitlig och bra kunskap om turism och friluftsliv. Kommunerna behöver lämplig data att basera sin planering på. En förutsättning för effektivare kunskapsförsörjning är forskning och utveckling av metoder. Det måste vara möjligt att följa utveckling, förutsäga effekter på miljön och brukares attityder, tillfredställelse etc. Den svenska fjällregionen omfattar ca en tredjedel av landet men bara mindre än 2 procent av svenska befolkningen bor i området. 90 procent av alla skyddade naturområden ligger i området. Med sina 8000 kilometer vandringsleder och 100 fjällstugor och -stationer är det ett av de viktigaste områdena för friluftsliv och turism. Området besöks av en fjärdedel av den svenska vuxna populationen varje år. Turism har fått allt större betydelse och roll i utvecklingen av området, mycket på grund av råvaruindustrins nedgång. Det finns stora skillnader mellan besökare i de svenska fjällen. Deras behov och intressen för olika naturupplevelser, deras tolerans för trängsel och kontakt med andra besökare varierar mycket. Det är viktigt för planering och förvaltning att ta reda på vilka kvalitéer besökare söker och uppskattar. Förvaltning av friluftsområden är vanligen kombinerad med bevarande och har ofta två mål: i) att bevara “naturligt tillstånd" och ii) ge möjligheter till friluftsliv. Dessa mål står ofta i strid med varandra. Lösning av denna konflikt är både ett teoretiskt och praktiskt problem. Hur man borde förse fysisk planering med relevant information som kan användas för att förutse reaktioner på olika förvaltningsåtgärder för att kunna hantera konflikter är en av de centrala frågorna i den här avhandlingen. Olika metoder för att mäta naturturism och friluftsliv diskuteras. Tre studier presenteras: i) en nationell studie om svenskarnas fjällvanor, ii) en fallstudie bland besökarna i Södra Jämtlandsfjällen och iii) en fallstudie bland lokalbefolkningen i Södra Jämtlandsfjällen.
Subject: Spatial Planning\Environmental Management
Spatial Planning\Regional Planning
Spatial Planning\Regional Planning
Keywords: Spatial Planning, Outdoor Recreation, Nature Tourism, Visitor Monitoring
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-00289
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