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Monitoring Outdoor Recreation in the Nordic and Baltic Countries

image of Monitoring Outdoor Recreation in the Nordic and Baltic Countries

This is the final report of the project "Visitor Monitoring Methods in the Nordic and Baltic Countries". The goal of the project was to develop visitor monitoring methodologies for Nordic and Baltic land management agencies, the work of which is related to visitor management in protected and recreational areas. The report provides an overview of the visitor monitoring methods and guidelines currently available, including state-of-the-art reports and case studies from the Nordic and Baltic countries. The report concludes that there are certain common variables related to monitoring outdoor recreation that are important to all the Nordic and Baltic countries and that could be standardized. Therefore, the project group continues its work in order to produce recommendations for a common visitor monitoring methodology in protected and recreational areas in the Nordic and Baltic Countries. These recommendations will be published in the form of a Nordic-Baltic manual on visitor monitoring practices.

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Introduction

The popularity of nature tourism and outdoor recreation is undergoing a constant increase in the Nordic countries. Information on visitors is essential for managing outdoor recreation in such a way as to promote sustainable tourism, public health and well-being, as well as the efficient protection of nature and cultural heritage, which are some of the goals of the Nordic Environmental Action Plan 2005–2008 as well. On the other hand, uncontrollably increasing the use of conservation areas can lead to trampling and other disturbances in the terrain, overcrowding, and endangering of ecological and cultural values. Several of the Nordic and Baltic countries are encountering similar challenges and problems related to nature tourism and outdoor recreation.

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