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Remarks and Solutions for the Siljanringen Geopark
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The creation of a Geopark is a great way to protect geological heritages sites but is also a way to provide a new economic income for the area (Farsani, Coelho, Costa, 2010). The Siljanring is one of these Geopark which the aim is to protect a meteorite impact old of millions of years (Arnesson, 2014). However, geotourism, being still at an early stage of development, need many efforts to attract visitors (Farsani, Coelho, Costa, 2011). Siljanring area is an interesting tourism destination regrouping different point of attraction as the silver mine, Norrboda Gammelstad, the waterfall, etc. (Arnesson, 2014). However, several issues occur to tourism activities on the site as seasonality, lack of information and formation or the low involvement of locals in the Geopark.
Remarks and solutions
Seasonality is indeed one of the bigger problems in every field of tourism but even more when it concerns nature attractions (Cuccia, Rizzo, 2011). Concerning the Geopark, the low season occurs during the winter time which is cold and snowy. Thus, snow covers all geological attractions composing the park (Arnesson, 2014). To avoid a total lack of tourists during the winter time in the Geopark, I would propose to integrate an event in the Geopark. Indeed, events are a good way to keep a destination away from seasonality (Getz, 2013). In this case, a Christmas village in Norrboda Gammelstad in Rättvik would attract many people due to the old character of the place which would make the event more special than a regular Christmas market in town. Moreover, different themes and animations can be added to the event as shows or children animations, destined to attract different types of tourists. Thus, it would create a new income from locals and at the same time it would enable the Geopark to be better known.
Lack of information and formation within the geo-park is also a break to the development of this one. Indeed, during our visit, I noticed on several sites of the Geopark a miss of information about the place or present only in Swedish. In matter to attract tourism it is necessary to have information boards in at least English as a foreign language. I cite: “A Geopark must provide and organize support, tools and activities to communicate geo-scientific knowledge and environmental concepts to the public”. Moreover, regarding guided tours, professional guides are necessary to a good transfer of knowledge to the tourists. Knowledge about geological facts is as necessary as tourism abilities in order to satisfy the visitors (Farsani, Coelho, Costa, 2011). Thus it could be interesting to organize trainings for the geo-park staff in matter of having more knowledge about tourism field.
Finally, as say Farsani, Coelho and Costa (2011), the success of a Geopark in tourism starts with a strong involvement of the locals. Thus, as a last advice, I would suggest the Geopark to increase local people participation in tourism. I also noticed that not all inhabitants from Dalarna are aware of the presence of the park in their region. Thus, as a first step, I would recommend the Geopark to invite different schools of the region to keep the population aware of the tourism activities where they are leaving. Domestic tourism can be an excellent development starter for a destination.
Arnesson A. (2014) Geopark-excursion in Siljansringen, excerpts from Vision and work strategy for project Geopark meteorum.
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, 68-81
GETZ, D. (2013) Event Tourism: Concepts, International Case Studies. USA: Cognizant Communication Corporation.
Cuccia, T., Rizzo, I. (2011) Tourism seasonality in cultural destinations: Empirical evidence from Sicily. Tourism Management, 32, 589-595
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