Extending the shared socioeconomic pathways for adaptation planning of blue tourism

Hyytiäinen, Kari; Kolehmainen, Liisa; Amelung, Bas; Kok, Kasper; Lonkila, Kirsi Marja; Malve, Olli; Similä, Jukka; Sokero, Mikael; Zandersen, Marianne


This paper offers an approach to long-term planning for an industrial sector that is sensitive to climate change, the state of adjacent natural environments and the associated socioeconomic developments. The paper combines exploratory and target-seeking scenarios to understand the future challenges of nature-based blue tourism under alternative global futures, and to develop sequences of actions to accomplish the best achievable future outcome for blue tourism at a local scale. We detail a bottom-up approach to scenario development for tourism, with local stakeholders developing local scenarios within the boundaries provided by the locally extended Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), widely used in climate research. As a demonstration of the approach, a group of invited stakeholders developed locally extended scenario narratives and the adaptation plans for blue tourism for coastal areas surrounding the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland. The co-creation process yielded several recommendations for immediate action concerning protection of the coastal environments, land use planning, internal communication with the sector and coordinated monitoring of economic, ecological, social and cultural sustainability indicators. The approach offers a way forward for systematically assessing the future risks and opportunities that a changing environment and society create for blue tourism.