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Regional Economic Impacts of Nature Based Tourism in the Simmental and Diemtigtal


Regional Economic Impacts and Success Factors (RENaTour)


Project Information

The reseach project is conducted together with the Institute of Landscape and Open Space at HSR Rapperswil.

The research project aims to assess the regional economic impact of nature-based tourism in Swiss forests and to identify possibilities for enhancing the added value. The research strategy was to analyse both demand and supply of tourism products and to identify future trends in the research area, Simmental/Diemtigtal in the Bernese Oberland. To analyse the tourism demand, a value–added survey was conducted to examine the guests´ expenditure attitude. The main results of the demand-side analysis are that the regional economic impact of nature-based leisure activities is much higher during the winter season than in summer. The expenditures in the winter season are higher than in summer because more money is spent on cable-cars and retail sales. Moreover the amount of visitors’ spending is to a great extent determined by category and price of the chosen accommodation. In the supply-side analysis, the generated value-added impact of nature-based package tours was estimated by implementing a semi-standardised telephone survey. The main results of the supply-side analysis are that the proportion of visitors booking an organised outdoor/trekking tour is comparatively low and that the tours are often simple day-offers. The overall economic impact of these tours is relatively small due to the high proportion of day-trippers. A brief analysis of the outdoor-equipment business made it possible to assess the relevance of this market with regard to nature-based tourism activities. The results of the equipment branch-analysis suggest that the expenditures for equipment and sporting goods are significantly higher than the direct spending while in the region. A Delphi-survey conducted with selected experts aimed to identify success factors for nature-based tourism supply. The Delphi-survey predicts that the demand for nature-based tourism activities will continue to rise in the mid-term. Possibilities to generate added value can be enhanced through the development of the tourist supply-chain by implementing attractive accommodation, gastronomy and services.


  • Mayer, M.; Wasem, K.; Gehring, K.; Pütz, M.; Roschewitz, A.; Siegrist, D., 2009: Wirtschaftliche Bedeutung des naturnahen Tourismus im Simmental und Diemtigtal. Regionalökonomische Effekte und Erfolgsfaktoren. Birmensdorf, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL; Rapperswil, Hochschule für Technik HSR. 104 S., [PDF]
  • Mayer, M., Pütz, M., Roschewitz, A. (2007): Regionalökonomische Effekte des naturnahen Tourismus im Simmental und Diemtigtal. Schweizerische Tourismuswirtschaft, Jahrbuch 2007, 207-229.

External project team