Rural Tourism in the Nordics

This projects looks at the challenges facing the development of a more sustainable Nordic rural tourism. These challenges include capacity constraints on capital and labour, natural and physical capital and strong seasonal differentiations that require considerations for optimal investments. The project looks more closely at how these challenge are met in various rural areas within the Nordic region

Sustainable tourism has been defined as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.

A steep growth in tourism in the recent ten years across many rural areas in the Nordic region calls for an increased focus on addressing capacity monitoring, zoning, LAC strategies (least acceptable change), fiscal considerations (nature tax, tourist tax) and other practices to secure a long term sustainable and viable development of the sector and communities.

The “Rural Tourism in the Nordics” project is based on the work of the Nordic Arctic working group (2013-2016) which identified a number of key factors: the way in which destination management is organized across the Northern parts of the Nordic region, which tourism segments are being targeted, what are the key development trends and what are the key strategic development priorities.

This follow up study will extend this analysis to cover all rural areas of the Nordic region, on the basis of rural-urban classifications. Building on previously built-up knowledge, Nordregio will conduct a scoping analysis of regional destination management plans and investigate the dynamics of local tourism innovation.

The project will contribute to the Nordic Thematic Group for Sustainable Rural Development Programme.