Natural resources need turning into products
Nature is the most important attraction factor for tourism in Finland and in Satakunta region. One of the core missions in tourism strategies is the productisation of natural resources into demand-oriented tourism products.
– Despite the fact that the region has an abundance of natural resources: forests, lakes, rivers and the largest Marine National Park in Finland, their use in product development is still weak, says Dr. Sanna-Mari Renfors from SAMK.
There are innovative ideas for creating competitive and versatile offerings. In reality, though, the micro entrepreneurs do not have enough resources to convert them into packages or day trips.
Dr. Renfors has interviewed 34 experts when they prepared the regional nature-based tourism development plan to Satakunta region, Finland. The findings suggest that the most demand-oriented nature-related tourism products are fishing, canoeing and birdwatching activities. The various waters are also considered as a blue gym and a source of wellbeing.
– Tourists want to learn from nature and in nature, they want to hear and feel the sea. The findings also stressed that products, especially activities, should better match to different target groups’ needs based on their duration, difficulty level and time of the year.
Ms. Sanna-Mari Renfors (PhD) works as Head of the Tourism Business Research Group in the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Pori, Finland and as a researching principal lecturer. She works, with mainly EU-funded, regional, national and international tourism-related RDI-projects as well as coordinates networks. Currently, she acts as a project manager in the Baltic Sea tourism project “Boosted” which aims at aligning and developing skills in tourism business in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.