SPECIAL SECTION: TOURISM, ANTHROPOLOGY, AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Viking Village Ecotourism
Few cultures are as misunderstood and under-appreciated as the Vikings. Few people realize that the Vikings, although they led simple lifestyles, were amazingly effective and advanced. The Vikings lived a culture that was truly their own, even though influences from all parts of their known world did impact its evolution. The Viking Village near Copenhagen in Denmark has resurrected that 400 year era. In the village, visitors are challenged to think about the deeper meanings of their participatory activities. The village dares to reveal the truth about the Vikings, shattering their contorted, exaggerated, and incorrect images. The Viking Village is ecotourism at its best. This article shows how village leader Jørgen Poulsen and I have partnered to create an ecotourism experience that is in harmony with the natural environment and which respects cultural heritage. We do this by using the village‘s existing educational programs and the experiences of my American college students. My students and I will participate in a pilot project that proposes a new ecotourism program for the village to be carried out in 2012.
The Applied Anthropologist, No. 1, Vol. 31, 2011, pp 7 - 14