Personal advice and help decrease rescue numbers
Mountain tourism is in rapid growth, and Norway is receiving its share. This again has led to unprecedented levels of mountain rescue missions, which has trespassed the capacity of the mountain rescue service at some destinations. In this article we develop and test an analytical framework for assessing the effectiveness of different measures to increase the safety of mountain tourists. The analysis builds on statistics for mountain rescue missions, a review of measures to increase safety and interview with stakeholders in destination marketing organisations, volunteer rescue organisations, the professional public rescue services and the tourism industry. We find that the introduction of guardians that provide advice at the starting point of the hike or on the marked trail to mountain tourists correlates with a reduction of mountain rescue missions. We also assessed the relationship between accidents and weather conditions, and find that after the introduction of guardians, the relationship between accidents and bad weather changes from positive to inverse, indicating the strong effect guardians have on tourist behaviour.