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Trails for Tourism and Outdoor Recreation: A Systematic Literature Review
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography. (ETOUR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8243-9046
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography. (ETOUR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3098-1490
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography. (ETOUR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8682-0442
2017 (English)In: Tourism, ISSN 1332-7461, Vol. 65, no 4, p. 488-508Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Trails are important elements in the natural and cultural landscape, and many ancient pathways have developed into routes of great significance for recreation and tourism in contemporary societies. By conducting a systematic quantitative literature review, this paper report on the status of international trail research and analyzes some of the key content with focus on trails for tourism and outdoor recreation in non-urban settings. For this purpose, we reviewed 195 research papers published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Results show that research on trails for tourism and outdoor recreation is primarily from English-speaking Western countries. The most studied trail-based activity is hiking, but there has been an increase in the number of studies researching multiple activities. Results also show that international trail research to a large extent is based on the natural sciences, and focus on environmental and managerial aspects of trail use. This review identifies gaps in trail research, especially in a socio-cultural context on topics such as heritage and public health. Research on conflicts between different recreational trail-based activities is also relatively scarce, as well as studies concerning conflicts between trail-based recreation interests and other land-use interests. We also identify a need for an exploration of the trail concept, as research has not yet articulated a clear definition of what a trail is. The paper also includes analyses of changes in trail-related research over time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 65, no 4, p. 488-508
Keywords [en]
recreational trails, tourism, outdoor recreation, literature review, trail research over time
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32676ISI: 000419189800008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85040866997OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-32676DiVA, id: diva2:1174211
Projects
Negotiating Pathways to Multi-functional LandscapesAvailable from: 2018-01-15 Created: 2018-01-15 Last updated: 2018-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Paths to collaboration? A Study on Multifunctional Mountain Trails
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Paths to collaboration? A Study on Multifunctional Mountain Trails
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Trails in natural areas constitute an essential resource in tourism as they provide infrastructure for both tourists and tourism companies. Trails allow access to nature and increase safety for visitors by guiding them to the appropriate route, where places of danger are avoided and the risk of damaging ecologically sensitive areas minimized. Even so, touristic activities in natural settings are today increasing and are more diversified as there are many ‘new’ activities becoming accessible for more people, for example mountain biking, trail-running and mountaineering. These trends and changes in tourism and outdoor recreation have resulted in an increase of trail-use, which in turn entails more trail-based conflicts. Conflicts occur between different recreational activities that use the same trail, but also between trail-based recreationists and other land-use interests. Thus, planners and managers of natural areas increasingly have to handle conflicts related to trail-use. Although conflicts relating to trails are becoming more common, research on trails as a conflict management tool is limited. Research has mainly focused on conflicts between trail-based recreation activities, and not on how the trail itself can be used to handle conflicts between land-use interests. As a number of land-use interests use the trail for various purposes, it can be argued that the multi-faceted features and flexible characteristics that constitute a trail can be helpful in handling such conflicts. The point of departure for this licentiate thesis is the assumption that trails in the natural landscape can function as a conflict management tool. Through the recreational trail, dialogue and discussions are made possible among stakeholders. Trails can therefore function as facilitators for communication, and thus enhance the possibilities of building trust and promoting collaboration between actors.

The results of this thesis derive from a case study of the southern Jämtland mountains in Sweden, an area where conflicts of interests exist. There are several different interests and perspectives on how the mountain landscape should be used, perspectives including those of tourism companies, reindeer herding, nature conservation interests and local population. The trails in the area are, however, important to all stakeholder groups, and collaboration around the trails is therefore examined in this thesis as an applied example where stakeholders communicate and negotiate.

Data for this thesis was collected by working closely with stakeholders in the area and by organizing workshops where different interests could meet and discuss issues relating to trails. Results show that creating platforms for collaboration and dialogue are important for increasing the understanding between different interests represented within stakeholder groups. Such platforms can therefore be highly valuable in handling conflicts regarding land-use.

This licentiate thesis contributes to increased knowledge on the multi-faceted roles of trails intended for tourism and outdoor recreation. This is achieved by the examination of international trail research to identify research gaps, together with the analysis of trails as a tool for collaboration and communication to handle land-use conflicts. The thesis contributes to the existing literature on handling multiple land-use interests, and adds to previous knowledge by taking on a rather new approach; that of the recreational trail as a facilitator for communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2019. p. 74
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 150
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34930 (URN)978-91-88527-81-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-01-18, G1352, Mittuniversitetet, Kunskapens Väg 8, Östersund, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Note

Vid tidpunkten för framläggningen av avhandlingen var följande delarbete opublicerat: delarbete 2 (manuskript).

At the time of the defence the following paper was unpublished: paper 2 (manuscript)

Available from: 2018-12-07 Created: 2018-12-07 Last updated: 2018-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Godtman Kling, KristinFredman, PeterWall-Reinius, Sandra

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