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  • Writer's pictureReidar A.

The nature guide - a vital part of sustainable tourism?

Some time ago, I wrote an essay about the role and responsibility of the guide in conveying climate challenges to visiting guests in the north, and perhaps especially in the arctic areas, where new heat records are set more often than the media reports.Through an educational technique called interpretation, guests not only learn about the changes we see, the secondary goal is also to change the attitude towards nature using what Freeman Tilden calls "provocation".

The content of the thesis is again brought to the fore through, among other things, the new tourism strategy of Innovation Norway (2020), where the goal is to cut 50% of emissions in tourism by 2030. The thesis is only available in Norwegian.

Through a semi-structured document study, among other things from English articles over the past 15 years, I have tried to give a picture of some of the research on three topics that I think should be important and interesting for tourism - and especially for educated guides who work within the nature-based tourism in the Arctic.

Thematically the task is threefold, where I first go through research on tourism's influence on climate, and briefly on climate change generally as a background for the task. Furthermore, I look at the role of the professional guide task of communicating knowledge around the climate to the guests, and at the same time attempting to provide visitors with good experiences and an emotional relationship with nature. This can further be included to reduce the direct and indirect climatic effects of tourism. Here the transmodern guide, and interpretation as an educational tool are both central elements. As a third theme I briefly look at various forms of nature-based and sustainable tourism, and introduce slow adventure as a possible unifying concept, while I go on and present the concept nordic slow adventure which is claimed to be particularly suitable as framework for sustainable product development in Scandinavia, where the outdoor tradition is strong.

The purpose of the assignment is to give the reader a framework, where I first look at challenges linked to a significant increase in the number of travellers and greenhouse gas emissions from the tourism industry, and later look at different elements that may be related to reduction in emissions. My claim is, among other things, that nordic slow adventure as a concept has many elements that are suitable for spreading knowledge of climate change and that it is possible to change guests' attitudes to climate through good educational programs that are well suited within the framework of the concept. At the same time the importance of time and the way one travels in slow adventure the concepts themselves help to reduce both the number of guests and to what extent these are in transit.

The bachelor assignment is only available in Norwegian. Please give feedback and ask questions in the commentary fields below.

Guiden i slow adventure_RA
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