Advanced

How Wild is Iceland? Wilderness Quality with Respect to Nature-based Tourism

Olafsdottir, Rannveig and Runnström, Micael LU (2011) In Tourism Geographies 13(2). p.280-298
Abstract
The Icelandic highlands are one of the few places left in Europe where tourists can experience pristine wilderness. During the past decades the highlands have, however, witnessed a rapid expansion in natural resource exploitation. This study attempts to evaluate the pristine condition of Icelandic wilderness by testing different methods of identifying and analysing wilderness with respect to nature-based tourism. The wilderness areas were mapped with respect to proximity to anthropogenic structures (proximity analysis) as well as what is actually visible in the landscape in relation to topography (viewshed analysis). When analysed with respect to proximity, result maps indicate that wilderness covers a little less than 34 percent of... (More)
The Icelandic highlands are one of the few places left in Europe where tourists can experience pristine wilderness. During the past decades the highlands have, however, witnessed a rapid expansion in natural resource exploitation. This study attempts to evaluate the pristine condition of Icelandic wilderness by testing different methods of identifying and analysing wilderness with respect to nature-based tourism. The wilderness areas were mapped with respect to proximity to anthropogenic structures (proximity analysis) as well as what is actually visible in the landscape in relation to topography (viewshed analysis). When analysed with respect to proximity, result maps indicate that wilderness covers a little less than 34 percent of Iceland. When assessed at a national scale, results from the viewshed analysis show similar results. However, evaluation of the two methods tested indicates that the viewshed analysis gives a more dynamic image of the Icelandic wilderness areas, whereas the proximity analysis simply highlights static buffer zones relative to the network of anthropogenic features. It is concluded that a viewshed analysis provides a more qualitative result regarding the Icelandic wilderness resource at a local scale with respect to nature-based tourism. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Wilderness assessment, nature tourism, proximity analysis, viewshed, analysis, geographical information system (GIS), Iceland
in
Tourism Geographies
volume
13
issue
2
pages
280 - 298
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • wos:000291534100006
  • scopus:79958846689
ISSN
1461-6688
DOI
10.1080/14616688.2010.531043
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
47ec935d-beb1-45c0-9a7f-681b562dc0d1 (old id 1984699)
date added to LUP
2011-07-08 15:49:41
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:41:36
@article{47ec935d-beb1-45c0-9a7f-681b562dc0d1,
  abstract     = {The Icelandic highlands are one of the few places left in Europe where tourists can experience pristine wilderness. During the past decades the highlands have, however, witnessed a rapid expansion in natural resource exploitation. This study attempts to evaluate the pristine condition of Icelandic wilderness by testing different methods of identifying and analysing wilderness with respect to nature-based tourism. The wilderness areas were mapped with respect to proximity to anthropogenic structures (proximity analysis) as well as what is actually visible in the landscape in relation to topography (viewshed analysis). When analysed with respect to proximity, result maps indicate that wilderness covers a little less than 34 percent of Iceland. When assessed at a national scale, results from the viewshed analysis show similar results. However, evaluation of the two methods tested indicates that the viewshed analysis gives a more dynamic image of the Icelandic wilderness areas, whereas the proximity analysis simply highlights static buffer zones relative to the network of anthropogenic features. It is concluded that a viewshed analysis provides a more qualitative result regarding the Icelandic wilderness resource at a local scale with respect to nature-based tourism.},
  author       = {Olafsdottir, Rannveig and Runnström, Micael},
  issn         = {1461-6688},
  keyword      = {Wilderness assessment,nature tourism,proximity analysis,viewshed,analysis,geographical information system (GIS),Iceland},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {280--298},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Tourism Geographies},
  title        = {How Wild is Iceland? Wilderness Quality with Respect to Nature-based Tourism},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2010.531043},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2011},
}