Abstracts for Session 20

 Towards smarter and more sustainable coastal tourism



Title: Mapping recreational activities in coastal and marine areas – PPGIS findings from western Sweden

Authors: Andreas Skriver Hansen, Vider Glette, and Javier Falla Arce

Affiliation:  University of Gothenburg, Ramboll Sweden, Gothenburg Region


The presentation reports on a study with a focus on mapping coastal-marine recreation in the Gothenburg region, Sweden. In Sweden, outdoor recreation is considered an important land and water use activity why the topic has become an important planning topic, including in Gothenburg region where there is a focus on clarifying and structuring coastal recreation and related nature tourism activities. Recent work has, however, revealed a lack of documentation of outdoor recreation in the region’s coastal zone. The situation presented a problem as an important prerequisite for planning, and thereby ensuring quality recreational content in the coastal zone, is knowledge about it. The study was formed in response to the situation, using a Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) method approach to collect relevant geographic data that can be used for mapping and overview purposes, while also engaging local stakeholders through use of new technology based on citizen science principles.

The most significant output of the study was spatial information about and, as a result, a basic knowledge base on coastal-marine outdoor recreation and related nature tourism activities in the region. For the first time, it is possible to see the connection between the various recreational activities and the geographical context where they take place. Furthermore, the work not only shows the presence, but also indications of volumes of coastal-based recreation in the region. Summed up, the results confirm outdoor recreation as a significant land and water use category that deserves more attention and priority in future planning processes in the region.




Title: Smarter experiences for costal forest destinations with big data?

Authors: Tuomas Pohjola and Anu Lähteenmäki-Uutela

Affiliation: University of Turku, SYKE


Various types of data can be used to enhance customer experiences. Social big data and rich customer data are often discussed in this context and applied in innovation processes yet other types of (open) data, such as public databases offering monitoring data on ecosystem services, are left with less attention in experiences building. The potential for information-intensive smart services in tourism and data-enriched experience design is constantly increasing yet, the potential of open environmental data and public APIs in creating immersive contextual experience contents is often ignored. The paper draws on conceptualisations of forest related big data innovation and smart technology usage in enhancing the experience-scape of nature destinations. By reviewing appropriate literature, the paper aims to identify the key dimensions of smart coastal forest experiences and how big data could assist in enriching such experiences. The conceptualisations may be complemented with expert interviews and illustrative smart case descriptions if considered necessary.



Title: Digitalization of coastal nature experiences within a collaborative innovation network: Regional ecosystem branding approach of DigiNature Satakunta project in the west coast of Finland

Authors: Tuomas Pohjola, Darko Dimitrovski, Tanja Lepistö, and Arja Lemmetyinen

Affiliation: University of Turku, University of Kragujevac


Covid-19 pandemic has initiated increased attention to digitalizing the visitors' experiences to enhance accessibility of destinations and the co-creative potential on new technologies. In the situation when there is no recognizable regional nature experience brand (such as the case with Satakunta, Finland), its micro brands focused on the specific attractions and experiences should use the benefits of more cooperative ecosystem branding strategy utilising digitalization and platforms to co-create more innovative and meaningful brand experiences. The research aims to examine the dynamics of nature and culture experience-based collaborative innovation ecosystem by depicting the regional network actors' (public and private companies and community representatives) collaborative efforts to co-create meaningful and innovative experiences stimulated with modern technology in the context of Satakunta's regional umbrella brand. Following a network logic, the actors' mutual ties were examined using dynamic network analysis that acknowledges the importance of spatial and temporal attributes and their particularities, focusing primarily on the strength of the digitalized nature experiences as a critical factor in the ecosystem dynamics. 

An ecosystem approach focuses on the dynamic and collaborative value-adding relationships by investigating the resources and knowledge shared by the diverse stakeholders of the Diginature project (www.digiluonto.fi/about-diginature-project) that contribute towards the regional ecosystem branding. The Diginature project was identified as a stimulus for creating a collaborative regional innovation network,  using its scientific and practical outputs as the most significant network inputs. Three vital phases of the network dynamics will be examined, firstly, the layer of pre-project network existence, secondly project induced ecosystem collaboration, and finally, post-project network capacity to capture the future perspective of ecosystem evolution.