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Jan Vidar Haukeland and Peter Fredman

This book contributes to interdisciplinary research-based knowledge about nature-based tourism. The focus is on linkages between place-based resources and value-added experiences, providing a multifaceted “mosaic of knowledge” towards better understanding of the rapidly evolving nature-based tourism sector. The research was undertaken before the COVID-19 pandemic had its devastating effects on tourism in 2020. We argue that small-scale nature-based tourism entrepreneurs in rural regions are better positioned to survive such crisis than operators at typical mass-tourism destinations. Future avenues of research are briefly outlined, including the meaning and benefits ascribed to nature-based tourism, issues of sustainability and resilience, and pathways to new products in this highly dynamic sector.

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Peter Fredman and Jan Vidar Haukeland

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Petter Dybedal, Jan Vidar Haukeland and Kathrin Stemmer

This chapter provides a framework for understanding and analysing current and potential demand for nature-based tourism (NBT) products. Data from a national summer season survey enlightens affinity towards and participation in NBT activities for different segments among foreign visitors to Norway. Landscape experiences, sightseeing and nature photographing are dominant activities, but they are often linked to physical activities, of which easy walks and hiking in mountain and forest areas are the most common. The chapter analyses demand segments across gender, age, nationality, travel party and duration of stay for the most popular activities; photographing, easy walks, hiking, fishing, kayaking/canoeing, mountain biking and birdwatching. The chapter also investigates level of commitment and skills among participants in these activities.

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Peter Fredman, Jan Vidar Haukeland, Liisa Tyrväinen, Stian Stensland and Sandra Wall-Reinius

This chapter provides an overview of nature-based tourism in a Nordic context, primarily looking at Norway, Sweden and Finland. Most of the world see the Nordic countries as a region characterized by common ideas and values like openness, trust and sustainability. The landscape includes iconic attractions with fjords, mountains and glaciers, as well as extensive forest and freshwater resources. Much of the region also share long traditions of outdoor recreation practices (friluftsliv) including the Right of Public Access which influence opportunities for nature-based tourism. This chapter provides a description of key characteristic of the Nordic region as a nature-based tourist destination. It covers the transformation from extractive and natural resource-based economies to service-oriented businesses through an emerging nature-based tourism sector. This includes the demand and supply of nature-based tourism product, relationship with nature protection, public access to nature and how to govern impacts from nature-based tourism.

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Jan Vidar Haukeland, Peter Fredman, Dominik Siegrist, Liisa Tyrväinen, Kreg Lindberg and Yasmine M. Elmahdy

Nature-based tourism is a highly dynamic sector and subject to many trends and changes. Based on a comprehensive literature review, this chapter identifies broad global changes, so-called megatrends, that affect tourism in general and NBT in particular. Data from an online panel survey with experts from five countries who were asked to recognize the most prominent nature-based tourism trends in a 10 years’ perspective, is analyzed in the light of global drivers. The chapter concludes that issues related to sustainability, health and well-being, increased specialization and segmentation are the most noticeable and recurrent trends in nature-based tourism today.