Institute of Geography and Sustainability of the University of Lausanne
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Geomorphological landscapes as a tourist resource

Research fields Margins, environment, landscapes
Keywords Geotourism
Funding UNIL
Duration Juin 2019 - Mai 2024
Researchers Bussard Jonathan (Doctoral student) [web] [email]
Reynard Emmanuel (Supervision) [web] [email]

Geomorphological landscapes - witnesses of the history and evolution of the surface of our planet, examples of ongoing processes in the formation of landforms - have a high heritage value from the point of view of Earth sciences. They are also of tourist interest, sometimes direct when the main purpose of the tourist activity is interested in this heritage, sometimes indirect when the geomorphological landscape is only a support for outdoor recreational activities. In both cases, as a heritage object or as a tourist resource, the objective of protecting what constitutes the value of geomorphological landscapes is an important issue.

However, certain uses, whether for tourism or not, can have a negative impact on geomorphological landscapes and diminish their heritage or tourist value. This is the case of certain tourist practices or tourism-related infrastructures, which may be unsuitable for sufficient protection of geoheritage. At the same time, tourism can also ensure better protection of landscapes against various forms of damage (including non-tourism), especially if the geomorphological landscape, as a tourist resource, constitutes the original offer of a destination. By promoting the recognition of the value of certain sites, tourism can be a major element in the process of heritage development and helps to limit the negative impacts of tourist or non-tourist activities on geoheritage.

On the basis of this observation, the objective of this research work is to provide elements of an answer to the following question: what are the conditions for the sustainable use of geomorphological landscapes as a tourist resource?

Hrafntinnusker, Iceland