Experiencing the Snæfellsnes Regional Park Coastal Route
“Humbling and inspiring to meet people who are so knowledgable and work so hard to achieve their visions“. Mary, Scotland.
Snæfellsnes Regional Park has been working towards sustainable and responsible tourism. To achieve that aim they use different tools and work closely with local stakeholders. In SHAPE the Park has developed with local participation different themed routes across the Snæfellsnes peninsula and developed content for the Breiðablik visitor centre, which is a gateway into the area (over 90% of our visitors come this way). This visitor centre is a multi-functional building that serves the local people and their traditions and festivities is a place to attend workshops to develop the local network and a window for guests into the stories and natural landscape of this area. The five municipalities that stand behind the Snæfellsnes regional park have a long history of working together and during this learning journey, the aim was to show how all work together to organise tourism and manage natural and cultural assets.
Aims of Learning Journey
- Learn about responsible tourism in action, what kind of management is used.
- Meet the stakeholders and learn about their networking.
- Visit Breiðablik visitor centre and others across Snæfellsnes – how do local people and companies use the visitor centres.
- Get to know different types of themed journeys and routes along the coast.
- Attend practical short courses with local participants, learn about the product development behind the themes routes inside the Snæfellsnes regional park.
During the 3 day trip, there were visits and short workshops for learning about and from the local stakeholders how and what they have achieved. Special focus was on how networking and working together has helped. The visiting stakeholders from Scotland, Finland, and Norway experienced some of the developed products from the coastal route and learnt about the work behind the visible tourism product.
The participants say:
“We have an old saying in Iceland “Glöggt er gests augað”, which means that visitors often see things that we the locals do not notice any more or take for granted. Whilst travelling across the Snæfellsnes peninsula for three days this last August this often came to mind when our guests asked questions we did not think of asking or comment on why we do things the way we do them. One example is what kind of stories we tell, often about ghosts, of killings, curses, getting lost in the fog or at sea and more. These stories clearly reflect how people have lived in this landscape and culture for a long time, but by telling these stories to our guests it becomes much more clear how they reflect the harsh landscape and the weather much more distinctively than we the locals thought. So new aspects of our storytelling would often become clear by telling them to new guests and hearing their reaction.”
Kjartan Bollason, Snæfellsnes Regional Park
“Cooperation is the only way to ‘share’ benefits and you have to take in the process”
“In the end, I think we need to do more or less the same thing: cooperation, participation and engagement with all stakeholders to make everyone work together…”
Would you like to know more?
If you are a registered user, you can contact the organisers and participants in this learning journey and ask them about their experiences in the Forums.