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Tourism development in the north of Sweden
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2008 (English)In: Proceedings Tourism Conference 2008, 2008, 1-21 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to discuss and analyze an empirical investigation performed in the counties of Norrbotten and Västerbotten in Sweden. Specifically, the aim was to identify and value potentials and pitfalls in the development of tourism in the northern part of Sweden. In doing so we, among other things, discuss potential meeting places for interactivities, possibilities for collaboration, problem solutions and need for capacitating expressed from predecessor for officials, non profit organizations, educational sector and industrial life. The study results are based on a textual analysis of strategic documents and interviews with representatives for tourism business, organizations and officials. The content analysis of strategic documents from the municipalities represented in this research contains methods, aims and objectives for developing leisure and tourism. A total of 14 representatives from the county of Norrbotten and Västerbotten were interviewed and thereby contributed to the present study. It is possible to cluster these persons into four distinguished groups: 1) civil servants/destination developers from municipalities, 2) civil servants from county councils/university, 3) companies and 4) associations active with tourism activities. Civil servants from the municipalities Umeå, Skellefteå, Boden, and Piteå were interviewed. Two representatives came from the county of Västerbotten and one from the county of Norrbotten. One researcher from the county of Västerbotten was interviewed as well. Umeå and Skellefteå are situated in the county of Västerbotten and have 110 000 and 72 000 inhabitants respectively. Piteå and Boden with 41 000 and 28 100 inhabitants respectively are situated in the county of Norrbotten. Result from interviews of destination developers as well as entrepreneurs indicate clear possibilities for developing leisure and tourism in both counties. Furthermore, interview results underline that northern part of Sweden is interesting for several tourism groups as the brand has been successfully developed over the last years. However, results from this study also point at some important areas in need of further development. Firstly, this study highlights the importance of developing strategically plans on county and local levels but as well to develop a strategic plan which crosses the boarders of the regions municipalities and counties to avoid sub-optimation and other types of difficulties related to decentralization. Secondly, the region is in need of a joint work force to coordinate an package attractions and experiences for prospective and existing tourists. Thirdly, an increased discussion and work on sustainability and accessibility is needed to prepare the region for future tourist needs. Sustainable leisure and tourism will be more important in the future at the same time as we can expect increases in numbers of tourists, which can be viewed as somewhat of a paradox. Fifthly, this study also highlights the importance of developing a program for education of tourism entrepreneurs. Several of the interviewed destination developers and tourism entrepreneurs mentioned the need to improve the level of education among tourism entrepreneurs as this is viewed important to be able to meet needs and expectations from an increasing amount of tourists. Finally, host ship and services from each citizen in this part of Sweden will be critical factors for success or fail.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. 1-21 p.
Research subject
Education; Entrepreneurship and Innovation
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-28129Local ID: 1d082370-bfa3-11dd-875e-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:1001323
International Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development : 26/11/2008 - 28/11/2008
Godkänd; 2008; Bibliografisk uppgift: USB-minne; 20081201 (lisl)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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