Food tourism in protected areas: Sustainability for producers, the environment and tourism?

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This study investigates the feasibility of combining environmental protection and an agricultural revitalisation strategy which includes food tourism in two Danish national parks, Mols Bjerge and Skjern Aadal. Both the parks include significant agricultural holdings and, to a great extent, a "natural" landscape of farmed grassland and arable land. The international research literature documents that park administrations have tended to neglect the role of food and food-based experiences in parks, despite park visitors preferring more attractive eating facilities, purchasing opportunities and food-related interpretation. A survey of food producers and providers in Denmark revealed that traditional, productivity-oriented farmers tended to oppose the establishment of parks, holding the view that "sharing" the land with others diminished their competitiveness. While this view might hamper rapid progress in food tourism, the survey also discovered an emerging trend of small-scale food entrepreneurship, albeit on a fragmented and uncoordinated level. Tourism-oriented food entrepreneurs wanted to see joint marketing and labelling of food products along the lines of OECD's (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) "new rural paradigm". The study identified governance opportunities that could accommodate the wellbeing of both tourists and food producers, but which requires a proactive role from the national park authorities, especially in marketing and the development of events.

TidsskriftJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)417-433
StatusUdgivet - 2013


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