Kari Brekke

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Geographic Information Science


Because of changes in accessibility, the Aurland Municipality in Western Norway may be subjected to increased tourism. In 1991, an all-season highway will open between Oslo and Bergen, which will pass directly through the Aurland Municipality. The shift in importance from mostly seasonal rail/fjord traffic to an all-season automobile traffic has the potential for accelerating tourism pressures in this highly scenic area. The purpose of this study was to address possible problems and prospects of changing accessibility for tourism in the Aurland Municipality.

In order to examine tourism in the Aurland Municipality, a number of methods were used. Fieldwork was completed in Norway. Questionnaire surveys were administered and archival research was undertaken. A model known as the Leisurization of Landscapes was utilized to study the changing land use patterns in the Aurland Municipality.

It was determined that the Aurland Municipality's land uses have been changing to accommodate growing numbers of tourists. The economy was shifting from an agriculture base to service industry oriented. These changes helped to advance the Aurland Municipality into the Intermediate Stage of the Leisurization of Landscapes Model. In this stage, an area becomes transformed visually as well as in land utilization and economy. Because the area has become oriented to attracting and serving tourists, it has the potential of progressing into the Advanced Stage of the model. In this situation, the landscape becomes dominated by created attractions and commercialization of the original amenities.

Based on results from questionnaires surveys administered, respondents felt that the positive factors of better communication, increased traffic for businesses and increased tourism outweighed negative factors such as noise, pollution and heavy traffic if proposed highway by-passes are built around populated areas of the Aurland Municipality. In general, most respondents felt very optimistic about the future development of the Aurland Municipality and its prospects as a tourism center between Eastern and Western Norway. The Aurland Municipality has a unique combination of scenic recreation amenities, cultural amenities and a geographical position between Oslo and Bergen. Conclusions drawn from the study are that a comprehensive tourism development plan must be a priority at present in order to ensure Aurland's position as a leading tourism center on the Oslo-Bergen highway route in the 1990s without suffering the negative effects of tour circuit overload.

Included in

Psychology Commons