Nature tourism relates closely to recreation. Distinction between these ecosystem services is that nature tourism involves over-night stay. The distance to permanent place of living is also longer than in every-day recreation.
Nature is a great attractor for tourism. The conception of pure nature is the basis for nature tourism in Finland. Especially lake sides, coastal areas and vast forests attract international visitors. Accessibility to attractive areas is important factor, for example in form of tourism services. Since nature tourism has become more popular among visitors, the amount of services has also increased. This is particularly the case in Lapland. In Finland, the summerhouse culture has stayed popular the last two decades, and it has strong relation to recreational activities. More than 60 % of all Finns have access to summerhouse.
Natural structures that attract tourists relate to place and time. Most popular destinations include Lapland and national parks. There are 37 national parks in Finland and they are great visitor attractors; it is the destination of more than one fourth of the trips to nature among Finns. The annual visitor numbers have has exceeded 2 million visitors in recent years. Recreational activities vary between seasons and can be seen varying visitor amounts in different seasons.
Nature tourism has positive regional effects. There is an estimation that there are ca. 3000 businesses in Finland that are strongly related to nature tourism. Nature tourism revenues only from national park visits reach to over 100 million euros, and have enabled employment of 1 400 personnel years.
Neuvonen, M. & Sievänen,T. 2011. Ulkoilutilastot 2010. In: Sievänen, T. & Neuvonen, M. (eds.). Luonnon virkistyskäyttö 2010. Working Papers of the Finnish Forest Research Institute 212.
OSF Official Statistics of Finland, 2014. Finnish travel. Statistics Finland. http://18.104.22.168/Database/StatFin/lii/smat/smat_en.asp.
- Updated (20.01.2015)