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Accessibility in a world of islands and islets : Knowledge of the Visitors and Second Home Owners in the Blekinge Archipelago, Sweden

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Author list: Ankre, Rosemarie

Publication year: 2011


Abstract

In the Swedish coastal areas the geography matters for tourism. Islands offer something special in comparison to massive land because one has to travel by boat or airplane to reach the destination. The detachment from the mainland gives an important physical and psychological aspect to the visit. However, accessibility is a crucial question in the archipelagos. Since the landscape consists of islands, it is necessary to either have access to a private boat or to public transportation. Physical accessibility refers to the ability of people to reach destinations, where the landscape together with infrastructure creates possibilities but also difficulties.

The Swedish coastal areas and archipelagos attract many visitors, which create an interest in developing tourism and outdoor recreation. At the same time, these areas consist of valuable nature, culture and considerable bird and animal life. The Blekinge archipelago, Sweden, is a Candidate for becoming a biosphere reserve in the MAB-programme. Biosphere reserves are model areas with the purpose to conserve nature, biodiversity and culture. At the same time, the social and economic development through local support should be promoted. In a biosphere reserve, zoning is an important part but the inhomogeneous landscape of an archipelago makes zoning complicated. The sometimes unclear borders because of the geography and nature, the variation of accessibility, the possibility of different activities, the blurred boundaries of rural and urban living, and the mental perceptions of what an archipelago is, makes it complicated to plan and balance tourism and outdoor recreation with conservation.

To understand if and how tourism and outdoor recreation are affected by zoning of a biosphere reserve, knowledge of the visitors and second homeowners is important. In relation to development of tourism and outdoor recreation, the challenge of applying zoning to a biosphere reserve in such a landscape an archipelago represents will be discussed in this study. Also, the purpose of this study is to analyse the visitors and second home owners’ views of accessibility in an archipelago. In the autumn of 2007, a questionnaire survey directed to visitors and second home owners in the Blekinge archipelago was conducted.


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