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The Challenges of developing Meteorum Geopark Project

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    Meteorum Geopark Project

    According to Torabi Farsani (2012), a Geopark can be defined as, a protected geographical area with important geological heritage, great natural appeal and scientific significance. Lake Siljan ring is the largest meteoric impact in Europe, and poses important geological heritage of international significance (Arnesson, 2014). With a total area of around 50 km2 together with ecological, archaeological and cultural values the Siljan ring have enough surface area and geographical/geological heritage which can fulfill the criteria of European Geopark network (EGN) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) requirements to be considered as a Geopark (TorabiFarsani, 2012, Arnesson, 2014).  According to Farsani et al. (2011) the creation of the Geopark will contribute to the local economy by creating more jobs and opening up new tourism related business opportunities for the local community. Furthermore, the area like Siljan ring with its geological significance, natural beauty and educational value possess the potential to be developed as a niche market for Geotourism and researchers (Farsani, Coelho and Costa, 2011).

    The Challenges of developing Meteorum Geopark Project

    The Siljan ring has a great potential to be a successful Geopark however a great efforts in terms of developing tourism facilities, promotion and cooperation with the local stakeholders must be implemented to make the project viable. More Informative facilities like the Naturum Dalarna should be developed around the park, since most of the visitors who don’t know about geology will get informed and the availability of more viewing towers will add to the value to the Geopark Project. Also, the use of digital guides and apps will make the experience more informative by creating more interactive videos, audio narratives and other contents designed to suit the type of visitors to the park (Bohlin and Brandt, 2014). Collaboration with the local residents, business owners and other stakeholders and engaging them starting from the planning will contribute to the success and sustainability of the project (Aas, Ladkin and Fletcher, 2005). Geoparks contribute to increased flow of tourism creating business opportunities for local businesses, restaurants and local crafts like the Dala horse factory (Torabi Farsani, 2012, Arnesson, 2014).

     

     

    Reference

    Aas, C., Ladkin, A. and Fletcher, J. (2005).Stakeholder collaboration and heritage management.Annals of Tourism Research, 32(1), pp.28-48.

    ARNESSON, A. (2014) Geopark-excursion in Siljanringen paper. Westerdahl/Lännstyrelsen Dalarna.

    Bohlin, M. and Brandt, D. (2014).Creating tourist experiences by interpreting places using digital guides. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 9(1), pp.1-17.

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

    TorabiFarsani, N. (2012). Geoparks and geotourism. Boca Raton: BrownWalker Press.

    By Yonas Mamo 

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