The need for a closer and enhanced connection with nature, as the basis for human wellbeing, reinforces the importance of natural heritage governance, including wider and much improved access to information about nature-based tourism and recreation. This research seeks to reveal how Internet content can support the digital identification of nature sites and their branding as tourist destinations. To this end, it analyzes 20 exemplary websites, each known around the world, and highlights important current trends in the structuring and attractiveness of the information provided. Based on the devised benchmarking criteria, the study develops a benchmarking approach that improves digital “packaging” and marketing of natural heritage for the purposes of tourism, recreation, leisure, and sports, and then tests it in Bulgaria. The procedure includes the selection of 57 natural heritage sites and rating the content of their official websites. The results show an unsatisfactory level of representation of the heritage value of the Bulgarian NH and a severe depreciation of the provision of the necessary tourism and recreation information, in comparison to the selected global benchmark. Besides the outline of the most frequent gaps and shortcomings, the results provide managers with suggestions about the development of a “natural heritage” brand for tourism and recreation, which features amplification of site identity and messaging, plus enhancement of its visibility. The conclusions are applicable to a wide variety of geographical contexts and audiences in nature-based destination governance.
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