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Geopark Lake Siljan Area

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    Seminar, third December with Magnus Bohlin: Geopark Theme

    Introduction
    There exist examples of good practices when it comes to developing geoparks. The question is: Why these geoparks have become successful and how did experts exploited their natural potential?  This seminar paper explores the possibilities for geopark development in the surroundings of Lake Siljan Area, Sweden.

    Background:
    Dowling describes geotourism specifically:Geo tourism focuses among others on process. Meaning meteorite impacts, volcanos, and glaciation. Appreciating and learning from these sites is where geotourism revolves around(Ross K Dowling, 2011).
    Geopark tourism finds its origins since the Renaissance and has evolved from the 18th century on. However, studies on Geopark development and its accompanying niche markets are scarce. This makes successful development of geoparks globally complicated. Often, though many experts are involved in order to do so. For instance, geographers, geologists, tourism experts, park managers and policy makers(Ross Kingston Dowling & Newsome, 2010). Successful geopark exists in Japan and China where dense collaboration networks in place are. This is one of the reasons why they flourished(Farsani, Coelho, & Costa, 2011).

    Lake Siljan Meteorite
    Lake Siljan area is known for its nature and recreation. In winter, however especially in summer time. Mainly couples rent out cottages and explore the surroundings of Lake Siljan. Into a less extend families find the area also interesting. About 377 million years ago a meteorite struck and left its marks. The impacts are visible within an area stretching out of four kilometers(Arnesson, 2014).

    File:C:/Users/SANNET~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg

    Lake Siljan Area and Meteorite location.

    Source:(Arnesson, 2014)

    Initial proposals turn Like Siljan Area into a Geopark

    The organization of guidance tours on a specific route. This tour will pass by all the highlights and will give context to the history of that area.

    An online tour via an app functioning as a digital travel guide. This is especially favorable during the off season when there are a limited number of visitors.

    An UNESCO nomination would help in order to get publicity and funding. The Siljan area might be eligible because the actual crater is visible from space and the largest impact in Europe.(Source)

    Stimulationof local community involvement can be beneficial for the tourism experience itself. Knowledge sharing regarding this particular place compliments the overall experience(Ross K Dowling, 2011).Developing a network of private and public institutions can be supportive in this regard.

     Limitations

    Although the Dalarna region and the area of Lake Siljan are well-known tourist spots, the event of the meteorite is known by very few. This can implicate difficulties regarding the word of mouth promotion of such sites. Furthermore, Sweden has already 14 heritage sites rewarded with the UNESCO, thus competition is fierce(UNESCO, 2014). Especially regarding tourist with a special interest in geology. Digital application such as digital travel guides need to be of a very interactive nature in order to engage the tourist. Furthermore it is complicated to replace a ‘human’ guide.

    Potential
    Despite the factors mentioned above, the area has potential if the “story” is going to be told. Several spots along the route could have an interesting historical background worth spreading(Arnesson, 2014). The route is representing the diversity of this area very clearly. On top of this given, according to Dowling geotourism is growing globally(Ross K Dowling, 2011). Therefore, on the long term, developing a geopark in the Siljan area might become very economically and culturally beneficial.

     

    Bibliography

    Arnesson, A. (2014). Geopark-excursion in Siljansringen November 19, 2014. Excerpts from the "Vision and Work Strategy for project Geopark Meteorum". 

    Dowling, R. K. (2011). Geotourism’s global growth. Geoheritage, 3(1), 1-13.

    Dowling, R. K., & Newsome, D. (2010). Global geotourism perspectives: Goodfellow Publishers Limited.

    Farsani, N. T., Coelho, C., & Costa, C. (2011). Geotourism and geoparks as novel strategies for socio‐economic development in rural areas. International Journal of Tourism Research, 13(1), 68-81.

    UNESCO. (2014). Sweden. Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List (15)

    Cultural.from http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/SE/

     

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