Agora Network Sustainable Tourism

Some issues in recreational planning for coastal areas and archipelagos

In this brief section some planning problems related to nature tourism in archipelagos are briefly mentioned. These are problems dealt with in more detail in the report from the pilot studies in Luleå and Blekinge. In these reports references to literature on the subjects can also be found.

The need for silence

The sense of hearing is always present. Consequently, the sound environment is relevant for the visitors' experience of nature and culture in tourism and outdoor recreation. Peace and quiet are not only sought-after, but difficult to experience in society of today. Research and management attention is now being extended to include the impacts of noise in outdoor recreation. Silence and natural quiet (sounds of nature undisturbed by human-caused noise) are being recognized as an important and endangered resource. Some sounds may be unwanted (for example, traffic, loud music, shouting), which is referred to as noise. In an area where individuals do not expect noise, even low sound-levels may be perceived as annoying in comparison to an area where noise is expected. The lack of noise-free areas in coastal areas has become an environmental problem. The level of unwanted sounds is increasing while areas with sound environments of quality are diminishing.

Population changes and depopulation

Many of the Baltic archipelago's islands were populated during prehistoric time. Since the Middle Ages, farms and smaller villages were established on a number of the larger islands. Many of the islands in the outer archipelago were populated solely during some parts of the year or during periods when the herring fishing was considerable. Seasonal fishing was complemented with hunting for sea birds and seal during the warm period of the year. Settlements in the archipelago were developed around the established fishing hamlets. During the 19th century the importance of a developing fishing industry increased At the turn of the 20th century, other local industries were often established but have slowly been phased out since the Second World War. Some parts of the settlements reflect the past life of the archipelago and are valuable culture environments. Among the people living permanently in the area, many still have their occupations in the archipelagos. Except for the traditional industries, such as fishing, hunting and agriculture, tourism and information technology are viewed with expectations for providing work opportunities However, after the previous streamlining of fishing and agriculture, it is difficult to make a living on these industries. The usage of motorboats and more advanced fishing tools made it unnecessary to live on the outskirts of the archipelago. The farms on the islands are often minor with small areas under cultivation, which makes it less profitable.

T here is often a possibility of a limited increases in population in the archipelagos. Water and sewage are the foremost restrictive factor and the access to a functional public transportation. Other limitations are that the service is not viewed as sufficient to create an attractive living and that there are few work opportunities. On the other side, the nature and culture environments of the archipelago are attractive to people and these values are central for a life of high-quality

Tourism and recreational housing are becoming more important as a means of livelihood in all archipelagos in the Baltic. This makes planning for sustainable tourism including and handling of conflicts of interest a primary concern in archipelago development

Blekinge Tekniska Högskola

   European Tourism Research institute

  EU flag  Baltic sea 
 "Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the BSR INTERREG III B Neighbourhood programme"

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