Research Project: Recreational mobility and trails in mountain destinations: Understanding Behavioural insights and New technology in relation to funding systems for high quality trails in a Swedish context
Resilience in nature-based tourism destinations is dependent on well-functioning trails for outdoor activities. These need to be managed, monitored and funded in a sustainable way for the long-term stability of businesses, protection of nature and the possibility of multi-use and social well-being of visitors and local inhabitants. The overall research aim for this project is to analyse prerequisites for funding and management of trails as part of developing nature-based tourist destinations.
This proposed project has been developed jointly between researchers and tourism industry with the purpose of investigating the prerequisites and conditions for long term sustainable funding and management system for recreational trails used for MTB and cross-country skiing.
The main challenge is to understand the consumer behaviour of tourists when it comes to the decision to contribute to trail funding by buying a trail pass and to understand if and how context of resort ownership, other visitors’ behaviour and the social norm, matters for the decision.
The project has four parts. Part I: On MTB and cross-country skiing and use of standard survey techniques and a natural field experiment. Part II: field experiment to test and evaluate new technology and behavioural insights on MTB and cross-country ski trail. Part III: monitoring and motion capturing using standard devices as well as thermal cameras. Part IV: communication and dissemination of activities and results.
For the practical use, the project results will help improve existing funding systems, which in turn will lead to higher revenues and makes for a long-term sustainable funding and management system for the recreational trails. Scientifically, the results add to the understanding of funding of trails for nature-based tourism and recreation, as well as of social norms shaping human cooperation.