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Monica A. Breiby, Hogne Øian and Øystein Aas

Discourses on sustainability in nature-based tourism tend to classify operations as ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘ugly’. We use these labels as an ironic comment on how some of the currently dominant discourses on sustainability in nature-based tourism tend to make coarse categorizations, since one or a few aspects of tourism come to symbolize entire categorizations of different types or forms of tourism, either in positive or negative terms. By drawing on illustrative examples from the Inland region of south-eastern Norway, we explore discourses and practices that incorporate the tendency of assessing sustainability using too few parameters, leaving out wider aspects related to the complexity of sustainable development in nature-based tourism. It is concluded that even the current turn from maximization to optimization strategies still may result in quick fix solutions, which may bring about new paradoxes and dilemmas related to sustainable development in this important business sector.

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Stian Stensland, Øystein Aas, Hilde Nikoline Hambro Dybsand and Thrond O. Haugen

We surveyed three different Norwegian wildlife tourism experiences, and compare participant characteristics, motivations, degree of specialization, satisfaction and loyalty to the activity/destination among the groups. Data originate from surveys of birdwatchers, anglers and musk ox safari tourists. Birdwatchers were on average 55 years, and hence older than anglers and musk ox tourists. Anglers were mostly males (90 percent), compared to just above 50 percent for the two other groups. The importance of the activity for visiting the destination was high for all, but least important for anglers, and highest for birdwatchers. Birdwatchers and anglers were relatively specialized in the activity, while musk ox tourists were not specialized and could be considered novice generalists. Activity-specific motives were most important for those viewing birds and musk ox, while anglers scored lower on activity-specific items. Our results confirm that wildlife experiences vary in importance for different types of tourists, at different destinations and for different wildlife species.

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Knut Bjørn Stokke, Morten Clemetsen, Øystein Aas, Thrond O. Haugen, Stian Stensland and Thomas Haraldseid

This chapter assesses natural and cultural resources in development of nature-based tourism, by applying two different analytical frameworks: social-ecological systems (SES) and landscape resource analysis (LRA) in two case areas in Norway (birdwatching in Varanger, angling in Trysil). Analyses based on the SES framework have its strength in showing the central links and challenges among ecological, social and governance components when utilizing resources in nature-based tourism. LRA relies on qualitative data and local knowledge, particularly through sense of place analyses based on workshops with local participants. Applied to two case studies, the two analytical frameworks contribute to better understand and utilize resources in more sustainable ways in nature-based tourism. They also show how natural and cultural resources may supplement each other in these contexts. In order to link natural and cultural resources, in-depth knowledge about local relations to nature is necessary.