Nordic Perspectives on Nature-based Tourism
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Nordic Perspectives on Nature-based Tourism

From Place-based Resources to Value-added Experiences

Edited by Peter Fredman and Jan V. Haukeland

Nature-based tourism (NBT) is a sector where entrepreneurial success is highly knowledge driven. This insightful book offers a comprehensive evaluation of NBT in a Nordic context, highlighting how long-established Nordic traditions of outdoor recreation practices can reveal lessons for the field more broadly. Chapters explore Nordic and international perspectives, local communities, market dynamics, firms, creativity, innovations and value-added experience products.
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Chapter 9: Good, bad or ugly tourism? Sustainability discourses in nature-based tourism

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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