Forest Tourism

Climate, Forests and Woodlands March 11, 2011|Print
Written by Chris Jones, University of Arizona

Tourism of forests is often recreation based. Tourism, especially in the western states, is directed to publicly owned forests, whether they be federal, state, municipal, or tribal. However, opportunities for others also exist. When in the form of providing recreational activities or marketing non-timber forest products to tourists, tourism can be a source of income for the private forest owner as well. When people do engage in forest-related tourism, they are looking for a pristine experience, with healthy trees and forests, scenic views, and the chance to spot wildlife. Litter and other forms of trash will cause them to look elsewhere to recreate and spend money.

What can I do:

Don't overlook the potential for income through tourism. For example, your forestland may be ideal for a lodge, private hunting permits, or bed and breakfast opportunity. Assess your proximity to unique destinations and population bases. Determine how much competition would exist from others providing the same or similar experiences.

Conduct best management practices to maintain your woods in a healthy and resilient condition. Keep your forest and roadways clean. Consider participating in the "Adopt-a-Mile" highway litter-control program that operates in many states.

For additional resources:
Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development: Promoting Ecotourism on Private Lands
Mississippi State University Business Resources: Hunting Fees


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