University of Oulu

Erkki Mäntymaa, Liisa Tyrväinen, Artti Juutinen, Mikko Kurttila, Importance of forest landscape quality for companies operating in nature tourism areas, Land Use Policy, Volume 107, 2021, 104095, ISSN 0264-8377,

Importance of forest landscape quality for companies operating in nature tourism areas

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Author: Mäntymaa, Erkki1; Tyrväinen, Liisa2; Juutinen, Artti1,3;
Organizations: 1Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Paavo Havaksen tie 3, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
3Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
4Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80100 Joensuu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-17


To promote the growth of nature based tourism in privately owned forest areas, new policy instruments, e.g. Payments for Ecosystem Services, are needed. They could engage private forest owners and nature-based tourism companies to cooperate and support the growth of the sector. We studied the entrepreneurs’ attitudes towards the importance of environmental amenities and assessments of possible improvements in forest landscapes for their business in the framework of proposed Payments for Ecosystem Services mechanism, called Landscape and Recreation Value Trade. In the analyses, we compared the assessments of two groups of companies: core nature-based tourism companies that produce most services for tourists, and general service companies that produce services for both tourists and local people. We collected a data set from an online survey that was sent to representatives of the companies of the Ruka-Kuusamo region, Finland. Core nature-based tourism companies see forest landscape beauty as being more important for their business than do general service companies. In addition, we hypothesized in the questionnaire that the quality of landscape would improve so that the impacts of forest management practices, such as the traces of clear cuttings and intensive site preparation would be less visible in future than today. If the quality improves in the core area of tourism, the activity of the business of the 2 company groups will increase equally. If, however, the quality improves in a wider area, both the number of clients and revenues will increase more for nature-based tourism companies than for general service companies. Finally, related to the implementation of suggested Payments for Ecosystem Services, nature-based tourism companies had both more interest in collecting payments from tourists for a fund for landscape quality improvement and to make a private agreement with forest owners for improving landscape quality. For the policy makers of regions where nature tourism has potential, the following suggestions are given: As attractive landscape is identified as being an important factor for the nature-based tourism business, new types of mechanisms are needed to secure a good quality of this basic resource and the positive development of this sector. As the level of interest in participating in funding and agreements related to Payments for Ecosystem Services can be rather low among entrepreneurs, an incentive mechanism for companies should also be launched. In addition, a collaborative deliberation and communication process is needed for implementing the mechanism.

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Series: Land use policy
ISSN: 0264-8377
ISSN-E: 1873-5754
ISSN-L: 0264-8377
Volume: 107
Article number: 104095
DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.104095
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 4112 Forestry
1172 Environmental sciences
519 Social and economic geography
511 Economics
Funding: This work was supported by EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme Project PROVIDE [grant number 633838]; the Academy of Finland/Strategic Research Council project “Participation in Long-Term Decision-Making” [Decision numbers 312671/312672)]; and EU H2020 Framework Programme Project SINCERE [grant number 773702].
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 312671
Detailed Information: 312671 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
312672 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (