Tourism contributes to human well-being and is recognized as a cultural ecosystem service. However, assessments of landscape potential for tourism tend to be very general. Therefore, this study proposes a method that takes into account both the complexity of landscape and the behavior of tourists. We introduce a new approach that encompasses both human and ecological aspects. The latter is broken down into biotic and abiotic elements, characterized by a variety of features. Tourism is assessed as a set of outdoor activities that are analyzed individually. Natural landscape potential is divided into intrinsic and service potential. Intrinsic potential describes the capacity of the landscape to be used for tourism purposes. Service potential adds tourists’ willingness to undertake an activity. This is an important extension, as landscape service potential should be assessed as a function of the use tourists make of it; whether very often (e.g. walking) or very rarely (e.g. windsurfing). The Analytic Hierarchy Process was used to evaluate landscape properties, and a questionnaire evaluated tourist behavior. A case study was carried out in the Great Masurian Lakes (northeast Poland), which revealed substantial differences in the spatial diversity of intrinsic and service potentials. Furthermore, it showed that there are neither universally positive, nor negative landscape features as different activities have different, and sometimes opposing requirements. We believe that the proposed approach improves the accuracy of landscape potential assessment for tourism, thereby improving landscape planning and management.
Woźniak, E., Kulczyk, S., Derek, M. (2018) From intrinsic to service potential: An approach to assess tourism landscape potential, Landscape and Urban Planning, 170, 209-220, doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.10.006