Answers to Global Questions from the International Competence Network of Tourism Research and Education (ICNT)
Multifunctionality, tourism and protected areas (Velvin, Bjørnstad)
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Jan Velvin and Kristian Bjørnstad
Multifunctionality, Tourism and Protected Areas
Over the last few decades rural areas in Europe have faced several challenges. The use of rural areas for the production of food and fibers is still important in terms of the area used, however, in terms of employment and in percentage of the economy, the overall trend is that the productive function of rural areas has lost much of its previous dominant position. At the same time, there are indications of rural land users and other stakeholders assigning a higher value to the consumption, largely through tourism, and the heritage of rural areas. Multifunctionality is now a key term in relation to this transition and the driving forces behind it has been suggested as being related to agricultural overcapacity, the emergence of market-driven amenity uses and a growing societal awareness of sustainability and preservation issues (Holmes, 2006). In Norway, this is visible through an increased focus on nature-based tourism in rural areas and in the planning and implementation of new protected areas (Direktoratet for Naturforvaltning, 2006).
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