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Special Issue "Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism"

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A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2011)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Taylor V. Stein

University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 1-352-846-0860
Interests: improving the understanding of visitors to natural areas and incorporating that knowledge into natural resource management frameworks; ecotourism research which includes collaborative planning and outcomes focused management
Associate Editor
Dr. Frank Søndergaard Jensen

University of Copenhagen, Danish Centre for Forest Landscape and Planning (Forest & Landscape), Faculty of Life Sciences, Rolighedsvej 23, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: monitoring the use of nature areas (especially forest areas) for recreation; assessment of the general populations’ preferences for different environments for recreational purposes; importance of wildlife for outdoor experiences; values and ethical questions in relation to wildlife management
Associate Editor
Dr. Liisa Tyrväinen

METLA (Finnish Forest Research Institute) & University of Lapland, Metla, P.O. BOX 18, FIN-01301, Vantaa, Finland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nature-based tourism demand; landscape research; participatory land-use and natural resource planning and economic analysis of landscape and recreation values
Associate Editor
Prof. Dr. Nobuhiko Tanaka

Tokai University, School of Tourism, 4-1-1 Kita-Kaname, Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, 259-1292, Japan
E-Mail
Phone: +81-463-58-1211 ext 3955
Interests: forest recreation and landscape planning; leisure studies; tourism theory; spatial analyses of forest recreation; satoyama woodland management for non-timber use

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

People, all over the world, look to their forests to provide a wealth of economic and non-economic benefits. In many cases, policy makers and forest managers have a difficult time directly addressing the many intangible, but highly valued benefits derived from recreation and tourism activities. For example, forests provide people with opportunities to view and experience aesthetic and restorative environments, relieve mental stress, and become physically fit. Moreover forest- based tourism is a growing land-use activity and an important economic sector that involves a variety of different types of entrepreneurs, many of which are relatively small, located in rural regions, and might only work part-time in tourism combined with agriculture, forestry or other rural means of livelihood. Many of these businesses are challenged by seasonality in tourism demand and the use of natural areas for tourism and recreation purposes might conflict with other natural resource uses. Even with the complex and valuable role recreation and tourism plays in forest management, it is somewhat rare to find the benefits of forest-based recreation and tourism specifically addressed in forest strategies or management plans. Over the last half century, social science researchers have made great strides to better understand how to provide opportunities to attain the wealth of personal, social, economic, and environmental benefits available through the use of forests for recreation and tourism. In this special issue, we will provide examples of research from around the world that highlights the state-of-the art information related to recreation and tourism forest policies, strategies, and management. From the identification of recreation indicators to the development of social theories, like place attachment, this special issue will provide a contemporary illustration of recreation and tourism’s role in expanding and improving forest management.

Taylor V. Stein
Frank Søndergaard Jensen
Nobuhiko Tanaka
Liisa Tyrväinen
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • sustainable nature-based tourism
  • ecotourism
  • community development
  • economics
  • forest recreation
  • recreation policy
  • recreation benefits
  • recreation ecology

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Visitors to Suburban Open Space Areas near a Northern Japanese City
Forests 2012, 3(2), 155-165; doi:10.3390/f3020155
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 14 March 2012 / Accepted: 5 April 2012 / Published: 12 April 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Visitor information often serves as the basis for the management plan of parks. However, there exist few scientific and fundamental surveys for parks and open spaces in Japan. We analyzed the correlation between the number of visitors and the various factors in a
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Visitor information often serves as the basis for the management plan of parks. However, there exist few scientific and fundamental surveys for parks and open spaces in Japan. We analyzed the correlation between the number of visitors and the various factors in a suburban open space in a northern Japanese city, Takino Park. To explain the fluctuations in the number of visitors in Takino Park, multiple regression analyses with the stepwise method were conducted. The analyses employed social factors and meteorological factors, such as the day of the week, school vacations, temperature and the weather. The results show that the most influential factor is the day of the week, i.e., Sundays and holidays. The weather is also influential as the number of visitors decreases on rainy and snowy days. Comparing different seasons of the year, we found that influential factors varied from one season to the other. A key distinguishing finding of our results is that the weather conditions at the departure site and the weather forecast are also determining factors. These findings will help park managers understand the current situations and examine future management strategies to maintain and enhance visitor satisfaction, and improve information services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism)
Open AccessArticle Latent Demand and Time Contextual Constraints to Outdoor Recreation in Sweden
Forests 2012, 3(1), 1-21; doi:10.3390/f3010001
Received: 1 September 2011 / Revised: 1 December 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (142 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study analyzes the latent demand to outdoor recreation participation and identifies what factors are constraining people from realizing this demand. In Sweden, recreation in the outdoors is seen as a public right as articulated in public policy and much of the outdoor
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This study analyzes the latent demand to outdoor recreation participation and identifies what factors are constraining people from realizing this demand. In Sweden, recreation in the outdoors is seen as a public right as articulated in public policy and much of the outdoor recreation centre around forested landscapes—over 60 percent of the land area is classified as forest. Using data from a nationwide survey of 43 recreation activities, the study takes a time-contextual approach to reveal variations in recreation constraints across weekdays, weekends and holidays. Results show that almost half the population has a latent demand to increase their participation in outdoor recreation. Three categories of time contextual constraints are identified and several of the constraints studied show variations across outdoor activities and socio-economic factors. Practical implications for the promotion of outdoor recreation participation by public agencies, recreation managers and tourism businesses are discussed based on the study findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism)
Open AccessArticle Road Expansion and Its Influence on Trail Sustainability in Bhutan
Forests 2011, 2(4), 1031-1048; doi:10.3390/f2041031
Received: 7 October 2011 / Revised: 24 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 November 2011 / Published: 9 December 2011
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Abstract
Bhutan was an inhabited wilderness until 1961, when road construction started after the closure of the Tibetan border. Since then, the road network has expanded from the Indian boarder, often tracing traditional trails. This has accelerated commerce as well as movement of people
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Bhutan was an inhabited wilderness until 1961, when road construction started after the closure of the Tibetan border. Since then, the road network has expanded from the Indian boarder, often tracing traditional trails. This has accelerated commerce as well as movement of people from India, benefitting both the Bhutanese and foreign tourists. At the same time, dependence on imported automobiles and fossil fuel has risen, and roadless areas have begun to shrink. This brought an inevitable loss of traditional environmental knowledge, such as the care of mules for packing, and reduction in physical and mental health among the Bhutanese. People who lost jobs as horsemen moved into towns to find jobs. Road extension is also a double-edged sword for visitors. It has resulted in shrinking trekking areas and loss of traditional culture, both of which have been sacrificed for easy access. Protected areas often function as fortifications against mechanical civilization. However, protected-area status or its zoning does not guarantee that an area will remain roadless where there is considerable resident population. An analysis in Jigme Dorji National Park showed the gradual retreat of trailheads and increasing dependence on automobiles among residents and trekkers. B. MacKaye, a regional planner in the Eastern United States, proposed using trails as a tool to control such mechanical civilization. His philosophy of regional planning suggests two measures; one is consolidated trailheads as dams, and the other is confinement of roads by levees, consisting of new trails and wilderness belts. According to case studies, the author proposed six options for coexistence of trails with roads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism)
Open AccessArticle An Ecosystem Approach to Recreation Location Quotients
Forests 2011, 2(4), 993-1012; doi:10.3390/f2040993
Received: 31 August 2011 / Revised: 11 November 2011 / Accepted: 28 November 2011 / Published: 2 December 2011
PDF Full-text (1254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the widespread agreement on the importance of preserving ecological integrity in conservation and outdoor recreation decision-making processes, traditional metrics analyzing the supply of and demand for conservation and recreation resources have focused on geographical and population-centric units of measurement rather than ecological
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Despite the widespread agreement on the importance of preserving ecological integrity in conservation and outdoor recreation decision-making processes, traditional metrics analyzing the supply of and demand for conservation and recreation resources have focused on geographical and population-centric units of measurement rather than ecological ones. One tool past researchers have used to inform recreation resource planning is the recreation location quotient (RLQ). While simple park-to-population ratios or acres-per-capita metrics provide a base measure of carrying capacity and are often useful to set broad recreation supply standards, the RLQ offers a more nuanced snapshot of supply and demand by comparing regional ratios to a standardized reference region. The RLQ is thus able to provide a statistic or quotient that highlights regions where recreation resources are particularly abundant and/or scarce relative to a reference area. This project expands the past RLQ analyses by investigating the distribution of recreation resources across the 10 ecological sections found within the US state of Minnesota. RLQs were calculated using recreation trail mileage, natural resource and recreation area acreage data, and recreation facility data from federal, state, and local agencies. Results found notable differences in supply of recreation resources across ecological sections. Some sections were considerably underrepresented in recreation resources-per area (e.g., Red River Valley and North Central Glaciated Plains) while others were underrepresented in recreation resources-per capita (e.g., Minnesota and Northeast Iowa Morainal). The RLQ statistics and resulting maps illustrating relative surplus or deficiencies can inform future land acquisition decisions and highlight the need for cross-jurisdictional planning in order to ensure outdoor recreation systems are ecologically representative. Possible implications and recommendations for future planning decisions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism)
Open AccessArticle Best Practices for Tourism Concessions in Protected Areas: A Review of the Field
Forests 2011, 2(4), 913-928; doi:10.3390/f2040913
Received: 11 October 2011 / Accepted: 21 October 2011 / Published: 2 November 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (76 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the importance of protected areas (PAs) worldwide to protect biodiversity, reduce poverty and promote sustainable development, throughout the world governments struggle to adequately fund PAs to meet conservation goals. Tourism is seen as a viable financial option for PAs, with tourism concessions
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Despite the importance of protected areas (PAs) worldwide to protect biodiversity, reduce poverty and promote sustainable development, throughout the world governments struggle to adequately fund PAs to meet conservation goals. Tourism is seen as a viable financial option for PAs, with tourism concessions through private sector partnerships gaining momentum that allows the overarching goal of preservation and conservation to remain with the state. However, without appropriate planning or best practices in place, tourism concessions can lead to such problems as waste, habitat destruction and the displacement of local people and wildlife. We analyzed tourism concession agreements in government documents from 22 countries to provide an overview of what best practices for tourism concessions are being established and what practices might need to be better incorporated into agreements. The greatest weaknesses of best practices appear to be with concession qualifications, legal, and financial responsibilities, while the strengths included environmental and empowerment/social responsibilities. This initial assessment of contract components will provide a baseline to further develop best practices and assist protected area managers, local communities, and conservation practitioners working with tourism in PAs to ensure that tourism has a positive impact on protected area management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism)
Open AccessArticle Potential Trade-Offs Between Nature-Based Tourism and Forestry, a Case Study in Northern Finland
Forests 2011, 2(4), 894-912; doi:10.3390/f2040894
Received: 15 September 2011 / Revised: 6 October 2011 / Accepted: 19 October 2011 / Published: 28 October 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forestry, as a large industry, has significant impacts on the quality of nature-based tourism landscapes in boreal forests. In Finland, the rapid growth of nature-based tourism has expanded outdoor recreation activities from protected areas into timber production forests; this is particularly so in
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Forestry, as a large industry, has significant impacts on the quality of nature-based tourism landscapes in boreal forests. In Finland, the rapid growth of nature-based tourism has expanded outdoor recreation activities from protected areas into timber production forests; this is particularly so in northern Finland. This paper focuses on assessing balanced local net impacts of three alternative land-use scenarios, in which the level of integration between nature-based tourism (NBT) and traditional forestry is varied. The study is located in northern Finland in the area between two top-rated tourist resorts, Ylläs and Levi. The results of the case study support the idea of an eligible integration between NBT and forestry, which takes into account scenic qualities of forested landscapes by restricting traditional management practices. In our case, the increased number of tourists (due to a more attractive forest environment) offset the losses accrued in forestry (due to restricted forest management). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Attitudes and Desired Social-Psychological Benefits of Off-Highway Vehicle Users
Forests 2011, 2(4), 875-893; doi:10.3390/f2040875
Received: 13 May 2011 / Revised: 6 September 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 26 October 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research analyzes the relationships between off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders’ patterns of prior experience and the social-psychological benefits they desire from the activity; it also examines the relationships between patterns of prior experience and environmental attitudes. The sample consists of 600 OHV riders
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This research analyzes the relationships between off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders’ patterns of prior experience and the social-psychological benefits they desire from the activity; it also examines the relationships between patterns of prior experience and environmental attitudes. The sample consists of 600 OHV riders in Utah drawn from the entire population of OHV owners within the state. The sample was segmented into experience use history groups based upon respondents’ number of OHV trips within the past 12 months and the total number of years they have been riding OHVs. Results show that patterns of prior experience are related to certain desired social-psychological benefits. Personal achievement benefits were significantly more important for more frequent riders when compared to those who rode less often. The analysis also reveals no relationship between patterns of prior experience and general environmental attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Forests’ Benefits: Forest-based Recreation and Tourism)

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