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The last resort?: Ski tourism and climate change in Arctic Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7012-4111
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
Oulun yliopisto, Oulu, Finland; University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2822-5503
2019 (English)In: Journal of Tourism Futures, ISSN 2055-5911, E-ISSN 2055-592XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the external and internal factors that support or challenge a possible transformation of Arctic Sweden into a major ski destination under a changing climate. Design/methodology/approach – The paper questions future availability of the physical and the human factors that foster ski tourism development in Arctic Sweden and suggests a comparative case study in relation to the already existing large resort-based ski destinations in Arctic Finland. Findings – Preliminary documentary analysis shows that the governmental and the industrial discourses over the past decade have acknowledged a competitive edge for Sweden and its northernmost regions in particular and may even propose a structural shift for ski tourism in the near future agenda. The visualisations based on natural snow projections presented in this paper confirm this comparative advantage but other technical and socioeconomic development factors are further discussed, in relation to Arctic Finland. Research limitations/implications – Future research agenda is suggested to cover, first, assessment of natural and technical snow reliability of existing and all potential ski areas in Sweden and within its competitive set extending to all the Nordics and the Alps, then, incorporation of adaptive capacities of the suppliers but especially the likely substitution tendencies of the consumers, and finally, evaluation of the overall situation in terms of the regional development needs. Social implications – It is apparent that land use conflicts will arise in case of large ski resort-based destination development in Arctic Sweden, especially around the environmentally protected areas, which are not only already important attractions for nature-based tourism but also traditional livelihoods for the Sami. Originality/value – This is the first paper to discuss a potential regional and structural shift of ski tourism in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Finland, Climate change, Sweden, Adaptation, Arctic tourism, Ski tourism
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-165612DOI: 10.1108/JTF-05-2019-0046OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-165612DiVA, id: diva2:1374190
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-72Available from: 2019-11-29 Created: 2019-11-29 Last updated: 2019-12-02

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