UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee included the Kvarken Archipelago on the World Heritage List in 2006. The Kvarken Archipelago forms a natural heritage site together with the High Coast.
The present Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy for the Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site was drawn up together with the interest groups and partners. The strategy functions as a tool for the development of tourism in and the recreational use of the Kvarken Archipelago. The strategy’s objective is to develop the Kvarken Archipelago as a sustainable tourism destination so that the site’s natural and cultural values are retained and the host community’s social fabric does not suffer. The strategy contains a method with which the economic, socio-cultural and ecological effects caused by tourism will be monitored and the sustainability of tourism will be ensured in the future.
The landscape shaped by the Ice Age, the biodiversity, the rich local culture and the services and outdoor activities promoting the visitors' wellbeing were identified as the tourist attractions for the Kvarken Archipelago. Consequently, the Kvarken Archipelago has, for a long time, attracted the residents of the surrounding region to take a holiday in the area or go boating there. The tourism within the world heritage site has remained on a small scale, although it has been estimated that 338,000 visits are made to the site each year. The effects on the local economy caused by the world heritage site visitors’ spending have been calculated as MEUR 20.9 and 250 person-years in 2010.
According to the vision for the Kvarken Archipelago in 2020, the Kvarken Archipelago, due to its geology and landscape values, is a unique and widely known World Heritage Site which offers its residents a pleasant and attractive living environment as well as genuine experiences for visitors. The development of tourism within the Kvarken World Heritage Site is focused on improving the quality of the tourist services, the visibility of the world heritage values and respect for locality. The communication and customer service concerning the site, as well as the work carried out with the enterprises, is being intensified. Customer-oriented products that strengthen the world heritage values are being created in the product development. The visibility and accessibility of the world heritage site is being improved. The local community is being provided with opportunities to participate in all of the planning, production and development of tourism.
Julkaistu myös suomenkielisenä Merenkurkun saariston maailmanperintöalueen luontomatkailusuunnitelma 2011 (Sarja C 109) ja ruotsinkielisenä Naturturismplan för världsarvet Kvarkens skärgård 2011 (Sarja C 110).