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Sustainable Destination

Lysefjorden has been awarded the label under Innovation Norway’s ‚Sustainable Destination‘ program, a quality mark for destinations that work systematically to reduce the negative impact of tourism on the local community.

Sustainability accreditation

The “Sustainable Destination” accreditation is awarded to destinations in Norway that are working systematically to reduce the negative impact of tourism. In order to be certified, a destination must preserve local nature and culture, strengthen social values, demonstrate political commitment, have effective management, and be economically viable. Each of these five criteria has specific indicators that make it clear which actions are to be taken. The Lysefjord achieved accreditation in 2018, renewed it in 2021, and is currently striving for its third accreditation in 2024.

Lysefjord – A vibrant fjord

Lysefjord is a natural and cultural destination, renowned for its iconic hiking landmarks such as Preikestolen and Kjerag. However, the region’s resources and attractions have yet to fully realize their development potential.

There are significant opportunities to create memorable experiences and economic opportunities that revolve around physical activities and the rich cultural history, all set against the backdrop of stunning natural beauty and an inviting, attractive local community.

The Lysefjord area boasts a fascinating cultural heritage through its settlements and industries, including fjord-side and mountain farms, as well as former town companies like Flørli and Lysebotn.

Visitor Management – A tool for achieving sustainable tourism development

Visitor management is a strategic approach adopted by Lysefjorden Utvikling to realize the vision of a vibrant fjord, aligning with the ethos of a ’sustainable destination.‘

What is visitor management?

For us, visitor management entails carefully attracting the desired guests to the right places, at optimal times, in manageable numbers, and ensuring they act responsibly. The goal is not only to provide guests with exceptional experiences but also to protect the natural environment and generate positive outcomes for the local community.

The essence of visitor management lies in the regulation and guidance of the flow of visitors within and around the Lysefjorden area. It’s a methodical approach that supports long-term, comprehensive planning. This planning ensures that the activities and developments in Lysefjorden are consistent with predetermined objectives.

Why does Lysefjorden Utvikling engage in visitor management?

Lysefjorden Utvikling’s commitment to visitor management stems from a desire to offer high-quality experiences that do not compromise the destination’s integrity, for both current visitors and the local community. Fundamental to this approach are the principles of preserving natural and cultural assets, enhancing local economic benefits and community engagement, providing guests with memorable and safe experiences, and upholding public access rights.

Visitor management = utilization of knowledge

Visitor management entails a commitment to informed decision-making. It necessitates a deep understanding of the destination and a strategy to address the various challenges and opportunities presented by tourism. To this end, Lysefjorden Utvikling’s practices are rooted in ongoing research and knowledge gathering, involving regular surveys of guests, tourism stakeholders, local residents, and cabin owners.

In addition to pursuing its vision, Lysefjorden Utvikling plays a proactive role in shaping the future of the region. This includes significant contributions to the development of a comprehensive master plan for Flørli and a new regional plan for the Preikestolen and Lysefjord areas. These initiatives reflect a balanced approach to tourism development, ensuring that visitor experiences are enhanced while preserving the natural environment and benefiting the local community.

Who is responsible for visitor management in the Lysefjord?

Effective visitor management in the Lysefjord requires leadership and coordination, necessitating collaboration between private and public stakeholders in nature-based tourism destinations for long-term and committed strategies.

Lysefjorden Utvikling is owned by Rogaland County Municipality and the municipalities of Sandnes, Stavanger, Strand, Hjelmeland, Gjesdal, and Suldal. Additionally, the Preikestolen Foundation, Destination Ryfylke, Stavanger Tourist Association, and Ryfylke Outdoor Council are part of the ownership. The composition of the board reflects this ownership structure.

How is visitor management practically implemented?

Lysefjorden Utvikling works to ensure that the destination and its actors target visitor groups that have a low negative impact and a high positive effect. In all measures and projects, consideration must be given to local landowners and vulnerable nature – adaptations must be appropriately tailored. Where necessary, restrictions may be applied. The sum of physical infrastructure development (including roads, parking, pier facilities, and trails), public transportation (especially ferry and bus connections), parking, and signage can contribute to achieving desired visitation patterns. Communication and personal hosting (for instance, at Preikestolen and Kjerag, as well as in Lysebotn and Flørli) are essential to promote responsible tourism and influence desired tourist behavior, which should be respectful towards nature and local communities, safe, and sustainable.

Sustainability Topics

How to be a good guest?

The Lysefjord holds a special place in our hearts, both as a stunning destination for visitors from around the world and as a cherished home to the local community.

To enrich your experience and help preserve the Lysefjord for those who come after you, we’ve crafted the Lysefjord Visitor Guide. This guide offers practical advice for sustainable and enjoyable tourism.

Divided into four essential sections, the guide begins with Respect Nature, urging visitors to maintain the pristine condition of the environment. Be Part of the Local Community encourages immersing yourself in local life, supporting small businesses, and engaging in cultural exchange. Stay Safe provides crucial tips for safe exploration of the fjord. Lastly, Choose Sustainable Alternatives underscores eco-friendly practices that lessen our environmental footprint.

Whether you’re trekking the trails or delving into the local culture, the Lysefjord Visitor Guide is your partner in ensuring a memorable and considerate journey.

Lysefjord’s Economic Impact

In 2023, approximately 635,000 tourists visited the Lysefjord, according to statistics based on counters at Preikestolen, Kjerag, and Flørli, as well as data on fjord cruises and boat traffic in the area. This includes both national and international tourists, day visitors, cruise passengers, and multi-day visitors.

Analyses reveals that the total expenditure of Lysefjord tourists in the region is estimated to be between 1.6 to 2.5 billion Norwegian kroner.

Lysefjorden, with Preikestolen and fjord cruises as its primary attractions, serves as a key destination for both national and international visitors. The economic significance of tourism in the region is substantial, and the contributions of tourists have positive ripple effects on the tourism industry, businesses, and the community as a whole. At the same time, much of Lysefjorden remains unexplored, and the potential for local economic growth based on the region’s natural and cultural heritage is significant.

Lysefjord’s New Regional Plan

Rogaland County Council is working on a regional plan for Preikestolen and the Lysefjord area, as an expanded renewal of the county development plan for Preikestolen. The regional plan aims to protect nature and landscapes while also facilitating tourism and travel.

The knowledge base for the regional plan includes four sub-analyses:

  1. Description of demographics, business, and geography.
  2. Overview of existing knowledge about nature, landscapes, and cultural values.
  3. Assessment of attractiveness in the Preikestolen and Lysefjord area.
  4. Evaluation of goal achievement related to the current county development plan.

The knowledge base will be used in the planning process and can contribute to further insights and discussions. The regional plan is expected to be completed by 2024.


Master Plan for Flørli

Lysefjorden Utvikling has developed a master plan for Flørli. The master plan is intended to establish a common foundation for the continued development of Flørli, its regulation, preservation, and applications for funding to maintain the industrial community.

The primary objective of the plan is to ensure the preservation, development, and protection of Flørli as a cultural heritage site. Flørli as a cultural heritage site is to be preserved through utilization and integrated as a significant part of the Lysefjorden destination, in line with the principles of sustainability set forth by the United Nations. The plan aims to:

1. Facilitate an agreement among the owners, Stavanger Municipality, Rogaland County Council, and the municipalities around Lysefjorden, regarding the future strategy for Flørli.
2. Establish the basis for financing, preservation, and operation in Flørli.
3. Define an operational model that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the location.

Citizen Survey 2023

Every 3 years, a citizen survey is conducted among residents in the Lysefjord area (formerly Forsand municipality). The results will be used for the revision of action plans and measures for the further development of the Lysefjord area.

The citizen survey in the Lysefjord area in 2023 reveals that residents have a positive attitude towards tourism, desire more tourists in the area, but express concerns related to the increased number of camper travelers. They value the experiences of tourists but are uncertain whether tourism makes the area more attractive to live in. Traffic problems and sustainability are concerns, while improved boat services are deemed a necessary measure according to the residents. Relationships have been identified between various factors influencing the perception of tourism, and there is general support for the work of Lysefjorden Utvikling.

Cabin Owner Survey 2023

Every 3 years, a survey is conducted among cabin owners in the Lysefjord area (formerly Forsand municipality). The results will be used to revise action plans and initiatives for the further development of the Lysefjord area.

The 44 participants typically own older cabins with running water, electricity, sewage, and fiber internet. They use their cabins year-round for relaxation and mountain trips, primarily relying on ferry and car transportation. Dissatisfaction is highest with the ferry and public transport, as well as the road infrastructure around the fjord.

They perceive public support for leisure residents as inadequate, but they remain satisfied with cabin life. A majority believes that sustainability efforts in Lysefjorden and the communication surrounding them can be improved. Environmental initiatives at the cabins are limited, and there is room for improvement in waste sorting.

Responsible marketing

Responsible marketing is all about portraying a destination honestly and avoiding the creation of unrealistic expectations. In a nutshell, it’s about open and transparent communication, grounded in values like responsibility, quality, and authenticity. Businesses and destinations should refrain from promoting services that could harm delicate natural environments and local communities. Avoiding „greenwashing“ and ensuring that information about environmental impact and sustainability is rooted in facts are crucial aspects. Furthermore, responsible marketing aims to encourage positive behavior among tourists.

It revolves around respecting the interests of local communities and actively contributing to the sustainable growth of the destination, making it more appealing, and educating tourists about the significance of sustainable actions.

Based on guidelines provided by Visit Norway and Reisemål Ryfylke, we’ve devised a checklist that can be used by players in the tourism industry for their marketing efforts (Norwegian only).

Tourism Enriching the Local Community

Lysefjorden, with its majestic landscape and iconic attractions like Preikestolen, Kjerag, and Flørli, is a world-class outdoor and recreational area. Lysefjorden Development AS’s primary goal is to develop Lysefjorden into an attractive destination while fostering a vibrant local community.

It is crucial to pay attention to central infrastructure and service offerings that benefit tourists, residents, and cabin owners, thereby fostering a closer connection between tourism and the local community.

The following infrastructure and services have been identified as top priorities in the effort to ensure and enhance the vitality of the fjord:

  1. A stable and predictable ferry service.
  2. The trail network.
  3. Quays and guest harbors.
  4. Accommodation and dining.
  5. Flørli.
  6. Nature experiences.
Employment and Pride

Tourism is defined as Norway’s fifth export industry and plays a significant role in our economy. The industry contributes substantially to local employment and municipal revenues. Therefore, the sector requires a strategic approach to labor, especially given its complexity.

Strengthening the connection between the tourism industry and educational institutions is essential, with a particular focus on promoting tourism education in the recruitment for management positions.

By attracting and developing skilled and adaptable personnel, tourism can emerge as an attractive and profitable career path. Investing in the future workforce, such as apprenticeship schemes and the use of local resources, is crucial to tackle challenges with seasonal fluctuations, unpredictability, and competition from other industries.

We have created a presentation on employment and recruitment tips that can help the industry create more status and pride in the sector (Norwegian only).

Tourism Climate Adaptations

Climate change brings both challenges and opportunities for the tourism industry in Lysefjorden. Changes in seasons, longer periods of drought and precipitation, as well as increasing extreme weather, represent challenges for traditional tourism. At the same time, longer summers in Norway and heatwaves in Europe create new tourist flows and needs.

Lysefjorden has the opportunity to adapt with unique quality experiences aimed at willing-to-pay guests from nearby markets, who value quality and sustainability.

Lysefjorden Development has developed a simple guide that addresses specific challenges, opportunities, and adaptations for the tourism industry. The guide contains insights and practical advice for tourism operators who strive for increased profitability and sustainability.

Photo: outdoorlifenorway


Based on our experience, we would like to share some recommendations with you


Several hiking trails start in Flørli, some of which are connected to the Lysefjorden Rundt Trail


Information tools to plan for a safe and enjoyable hike to Preikestolen, whatever season.