Sustainable tourism

Tourism depends on the environment in two contrasting ways: It is at the same time dependent on the natural qualities in its surroundings, such as snow-sure winters and a subsisting cultural landscape, that are under threat for various reasons. The sector also exerts direct and indirect pressure on the same environmental qualities, e.g. through consumption-related carbon emissions. Understanding this dual environmental challenge is important in the sector and the authorities’ effort to develop a framework for the tourism industry.
This area of research encompasses sustainable utilization of outfields, land-use planning, and management for outdoor activities and recreation, which is linked to prioritized parts of adventure tourism. 

Vestlandsforsking has access to the foremost international capacities in the realm of tourism and climate change in terms of mapping the extent to which ski resorts in Sogn og Fjordane and elsewhere in Norway are vulnerable to climate change. Our findings will form the basis for discussions of how ski resorts may tackle a future with less snow.




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    A scientific paper on the coronavirus crisis and tourism written by Stefan Gössling at Western Norway Research Institute, has reached an all-time high of 43,000 downloads in a period of only 6 weeks. The level of interest exceeds anything the Journal of Sustainable Tourism has seen before.

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    If people in Norway and other European countries are asked not to travel abroad this summer, we risk risk inflicting far greater damage than the pandemic itself, says Stefan Gössling, Research Coordinator in tourism at Western Norway Research Institute.

  • Skisse av "Framtidas hyttegrend"

    Adhering to the principles of sustainability means that new mountain cabins should be energy and area efficient. How this may be solved has been addressed by architects, cabin developers, construction experts, and researchers in a research and development project seeking to plan mountain cabins for the future.

  • Foto frå utstillinga Grüne Woche i Berlin i januar 2020.

    Western Norway Research Institute visited the International Green Week in Berlin as part of a regional study tour. In an ongoing process to establish a business cluster in the intersection between local food, outdoor activities, and tourism, the institute finds a role in research-based innovation and knowledge-building.

  • Stefan Gøssling

    While phrases like "shame of flight" are spreading among most people in Scandinavia, new research shows that a growing global elite flight many thousands more times than average. Professor Stefan Gössling has collected travel data from ten of the biggest celebrities on his social media and calculated climate impacts.

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    Carlo Aall at Western Norway Research Institute has guest-edited a special issue of the journal "Sustainability" discussing various aspects of overtourism and sustainable urban tourism.