Tourismscapes

TOURISMSCAPESTourismscapes is a young landscape architecture initiative founded in 2012 which is specialized in tourism and recreational landscapes.

Tourismscapes is specialized in connecting the living landscape, local inhabitants and tourism form a landscape architectural perspective. In an innovative and fresh way we try to guide and design projects that deal with tourism and/or recreation.
Our vision is that the local landscape qualities and culture are serving as a base for the character of the area and therefore provide a base for tourism potential and development. Each site has his own identity and focus, our goal is to make optimal use of this identity which is the key element for tourists and local people.

Tourism has proven to be one of the most destroying sectors of landscapes, villages, regions or cities, neglecting the qualities and the local inhabitants and turning villages into a generic, footloose, homogenized tourist resort with tourists only being inside the big resorts. This fordistic way of tourism causes except for the environmental impact more side effects that aren’t good for the local people and even the tourist market. Because of the focus on nice weather instead of culture/landscape the tourist season is very short, often with a high peak in the summer months. Because of the lack of interaction with the rest of the area tourists tend to stay shorter and spending their money only inside the resorts, not making any profit for local entrepreneurs. Because the tourists stay in big resorts, owned by multinationals, the profit goes directly back to other countries, only a very small part goes into the local economy, leaving the local inhabitants, entrepreneurs and investors with a ruined, crowded living environment without benefiting from the positive sides that tourism might offer them.

This is opposite to what tourism used to be about, to experience new things, like nature, local culture, heritage and local food. To ‘taste the landscape’ the landscape has to be adapted to tourism, in a way that there is a balance between tourism and local inhabitants. In this way local inhabitants can benefit from the tourism and make money out of it, so tourists are imbedded in the local system. What we just described is the sustainable tourism-concept.

Tourismscapes is focused on this sustainable tourism, exploring new ways of tourism, solving the seasonality problem and making the connection between tourism, local entrepreneurs and inhabitants and the qualities and ‘genius loci’ of a place.
By creating tourism development strategies on different scales, from regional to a single village to concrete designs for spatial elements like squares, harbors or resorts. By developing one plan on different scales a region can work as a touristic region, offering the tourists a wide range of possible activities and improving the touristic infrastructure. One village cannot survive on itself today, by working together to create a complete system in which each place has a special character each place adds a unique part to the touristic region, together making a complete diverse system in which each place benefits from it.

Tourism according to Tourismscapes shouldn’t be done by one person, it’s important to work together and involve local stakeholders (entrepreneurs, investors, citizens) in the development and design process. They know what is unique about their place and by learning them how they can work with the concept of regional sustainable tourismscapes it works from a bottom-up approach. Tourismscapes works in this way with workshops to address those local stakeholders, make them aware of their chances and guide them in the process to reach the best final result, in which both the locals and tourists are winning.

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