Aerial photo of Gjøkåsen, Øvre Pasvik National Park, Norway. Photo: Tormod Amundsen
You could watch this for at least some minutes, couldn’t you? Phenomena of Arctic Nature is a project who does its best to improve the experience and the knowledge of the tourist visiting the Arctic.
Arctic nature and its phenomena attract tourists year after year. But also, arctic nature and its species are vulnerable because of many reasons. So, accessibility to the nature, the trails and the observation sites has to be arranged so that the harm to nature is minimized.
Attention to observation sites
The spring, the summer with its polar day, autumn and its colors, and the polar night, stars and aurora borealis are all fascinating sights. PAN-project has paid attention to observation sites. An ideal observation site is one which allows the visitors to see a wide landscape, where they can sit down and have a rest, preferably under a shelter, and where light pollution is minimized – this allows observing the starry sky and the northern lights. The experts in the project have planned and constructed some constructions for this purpose. Time will show how the design works. See some photos of the construction of Kaunisharju observation point:
Expertise in nature tourism has increased
Tourism business is growing fast north from the Arctic circle. The reasons behind the increasing demand of nature-based tourism services are megatrends of societies: e.g. the longing of people to be out in clean, safe and calm natural surroundings, and an interest on their own well-being.
The organisations and other participants of PAN have been given knowledge in workshops about how to respond to the demands. The first in a series of events organised by the project was a timber architecture workshop held in Norway’s Pasvik Valley in October 2019. The participants brainstormed ideas for using local timber in construction for tourism and outdoor recreation infrastructure. The next events have been more or less about what kind of services are the best to be offered to these tourists interested in nature, and how can we improve service provision – especially in summer. The attitude of the project seems to be that no matter how fascinating services we already have, and will have, there is no limit for how good they could be, and how great an experience the tourist could have.
Observation point by lake Keselmäjärvi, Salla. Photo: Mikaela Creutz
The experience can be in the form of a mobile game: Youth Centre Vasatokka has developed a mobile game to be played on site in the beautiful surroundings of their premises.
Visitor centres and exhibitions
The project has produced and updated exhibitions and audio-visual presentations for visitors in the visitor centres of the national parks. The educational institutions involved have produced multilingual education materials, which will be at the disposal of youth and nature centres, visitor centres and schools. This serves the important purpose of providing the audiences knowledge about our nature, its vulnerability, and how it should be treated.
Phenomena of Arctic Nature-project:
Lead Partner: Metsähallitus, Finland Partners:
Salla municipality, Finland
Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Youth Center Vasatokka, Finland
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)
Øvre Pasvik National Park, Norway
Biotope AS, Norway