The Tourism Industry in Vestland during the Green Transition: Stakeholder Perspectives on Challenges and Opportunities

Type/nr R07/23
Skrevet av Endre Kildal Iversen and Rasmus Bøgh Holmen
This report discusses competitiveness, sustainability, conflict resolution, and technological integration under the green transition. The purpose is to enable tourism management in Vestland in correspondence with environmental and economic considerations and the evolving preferences of visitors. The primary method is interviews, supported by input from a reference group. We conducted 20 interviews with 22 informants from destination companies, tourism firms, and public and nature conservation interests, while the reference group included seven informants from five organizations.

Destinations in Vestland aim to attract high-paying tourists focusing on nature experiences and diverse tourism products. Competitive challenges include seasonal constraints, sustainability concerns, recruitment, funding, competition in the face of price pressures, and developments in circumstantial contexts. Respondents call for taking more advantage of nature in their marketing and a more complete product spectrum. Main sustainability challenges include dependence on carbon-intensive traveling from foreign markets and tourism crowding at specific locations, causing various environmental consequences. Stakeholders express a need for improved visitor management, potentially through the sustainable destination certification, which receives positive feedback. Conflicts between tourism interests and natural values in Vestland include the impact on vulnerable wild reindeer habitats, with ski resorts, gondolas and recreational homes encroaching on their territory. Cruise ship emissions and problems with the zero-emission requirement in world heritage fjords highlight the need for tourism management to consider all effects on markets and nature. Several respondents ask for more stakeholder involvement in energy project developments and land use conflicts to improve outcomes. Most respondents see benefits in various technological applications, including software, equipment, and digitalization of internal work processes, but they also bring coordination issues and frustrations with online travel agencies. They highlight the need for more coordination, cooperation, interactivity in digital presentation, and enhanced technological infrastructure, especially in electric charging facilities and electronic communication.
Språk Skrevet på engelsk