Despite the widely recognized importance of involvement of diverse stakeholders for sustainable tourism and protected areas development, there remains a lack of understanding of what participatory processes can do and how they can be made productive. In this article, we focus on stakeholders’ socio-cultural values and demonstrate how they can be activated through tourism co-design for advancing sustainable tourism development in natural protected areas. Evidence from 11 nature and national parks in Denmark detail how tourism co-design can contribute to changing the dialogue, negotiating differences, and bridging disagreements between stakeholders and identify latent opportunities for sustainable tourism development. This nationwide study, firstly, advances sustainable development theory by demonstrating how sustainable transformations can be leveraged from shared values by stakeholders who identify with a protected area. Secondly, we propose how distant sustainable tourism futures can be imagined and made relatable with others.
- natural protected areas
- Socio-cultural values
- sustainable tourism development
- tourism co-design