Archaeological sites are increasingly attracting the interest of tourists, and the landscape of these places is being increasingly transformed by tourist infrastructure. Research conducted, using selected archaeological landscapes in Poland as examples, introduces the concept of Tourism Landscape Footprint (TLF) in the context of physiognomic changes occurring due to the location of tourist facilities. Current scientific literature addresses issues related to the tourism footprint (including ecological, water, and carbon footprints), which broadly focuses on the environmental impact of tourism but often overlooks the footprint left on the landscape.
The aim of this research was to determine the extent of the impact of tourist facilities on the archaeological landscape and identify the landscape effects of this influence. The impact of tourist facilities on the landscape depends on the number of tourist elements, their type, and their location relative to archaeological forms. The study calculated the Tourism Landscape Footprint (TLF) index for each site. The results indicate that tourism infrastructure has not significantly altered the landscape of the surveyed archaeological sites. The obtained TLF values for most sites are low. Comparing the various archaeological landscapes studied, the landscape with the highest number of tourist facilities (Wietrzychowice) does not have the highest TLF index due to the concentration of most facilities on the periphery of the archaeological site.
Due to the varying number and surface area of archaeological forms and tourism infrastructure at the surveyed sites, five groups of archaeological landscapes were identified using statistical methods. These groups were described in terms of their character and the landscape effects of the tourism infrastructure location.
This research was funded under the “Małe Projekty 2022” program, with the project titled “Tourism Footprint in the Archaeological Landscape in Poland.”
Anna Żemła-Siesicka, 2023, Tourism landscape footprint in the archaeological landscape, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 103, 107255,
Note author: Anna Żemła-Siesicka