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Visitor management in Nordic national parks

image of Visitor management in Nordic national parks

Visitor management is a key tool in improving the recreational carrying capacity of the Nordic national parks, in light of the challenges presented by growing visitor numbers and new types of visitor behaviour. A more strategic and collaborative approach to visitor management can help protect and develop national parks and their local communities in both an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way. This publication offers Nordic national park managers and national park authorities inspiration on how to improve their visitor management. It contains a collection of examples of what other national parks, within as well as outside of the Nordic countries, have done to improve their visitor management and suggests overall recommendations on how to create better visitor management within a Nordic framework. The publication is the result of a project supported by The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Terrestrial Ecosystem Group (TEG) and carried out in a partnership consisting of Thingvellir National Park in Iceland, Jotunheimen National Park in Norway and The Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark, with BARK Rådgivning as project manager.

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Monitoring

Monitoring in itself is not a visitor management solution, but rather a systematic collection of data on the condition and development of nature, visitor behaviour, traffic, local attitudes, etc., which brings forward new or updated knowledge about ecological, social and economic factors. Monitoring is a tool that helps lay the foundation for developing tailored, efficient and sustainable visitor management solutions. As seen in one of the examples, monitoring data is not only of intrinsic value to the management of the national park but can also be used as a way of directing political attention to the value added to the local community by the national park.

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