The Nature of Nature in Nature-based Tourism

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Abstract:

It is obvious that nature plays a key role in nature-based tourism. But how important are natural environments for nature-based tourism supply? What kind of natural environments are demanded, and how can or should such environments be accessed? These issues are addressed in this paper using a two-dimensional model of the nature-based tourism servicescape. Based upon a grounded theory mixed-method approach, we analyze to what extent nature-based tourism companies in Sweden depend upon natural environments and facilities (naturalness dimension), and open access and exclusive rights to natural resources (access dimension). Findings show that this sector considers open access much more important than exclusive rights, while naturalness and facilities both represent important attributes. The exception being companies providing extractive activities (e.g. hunting), in particular those with a majority of international customers, where exclusive rights to resources are much more important. This paper provides new knowledge how the nature-based tourism industry can be supported through nature protection, sustainable management of natural resources, public infrastructure and access policies.

Keywords: access; exclusive rights; facilities; natural environments; outdoor recreation; servicescape

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2012.752893

Affiliations: ETOUR,Mid Sweden University, Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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