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Tourism Development in Peripheral Areas: Processes of Local Innovation and Change in Northern Sweden
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Tourism has reached almost all regions of the world and has had a notable growth in the peripheral regions of Europe. Attempts at tourism development in rural and peripheral areas have resulted in widely varying outcomes and have often been undertaken as a last resort by communities. Despite mixed results, tourism persists as a tool for regional development. There has not been so much research on the evolving nature of tourism entrepreneurship in regions where tourism is relatively new as a commercial/entrepreneurial activity, e.g., the rural and peripheral north of Europe. This thesis presents Northern Sweden as a regional case study but it is reasonable to assume that the research results are transferable to similar regions with a similar range of nature-based tourism in small communities.

 

The results show that tourism stakeholders co-evolve over time even though formal networks are loose and project-based (Article 1). Tourism firm survival improves for entrepreneurs with previous related experience but there is not necessarily an outsider advantage and new tourism firms contribute to job creation despite high rates of attrition (Article II). Protected areas with unique attributes (e.g., Laponia) can attract distant entrepreneurs but must manage these stakeholders more proactively (Article III). Climate change is a long-term challenge with firms not needing to adapt yet but facing differing exposures dependent on location and firm mobility (Article IV). Finally, evolutionary economic geography helps to better understand the processes of change in tourism in rural and peripheral areas (Article V).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund, Sweden: Mid Sweden University , 2013. , 260 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 147
Keyword [en]
change, development, evolution, peripheral, Sweden, tourism.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18664Local ID: ETOURISBN: 978-91-87103-70-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-18664DiVA: diva2:613746
Public defence
2013-05-28, F229, Mittuniversitetet, Östersund, 13:00 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-02 Last updated: 2013-05-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Creative Outposts: Tourism's Place in Rural Innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creative Outposts: Tourism's Place in Rural Innovation
2012 (English)In: Tourism Planning & Development, ISSN 2156-8316, Vol. 9, no 4, 383-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to investigate the dynamics of local tourism innovation in order to see how tourism development benefits tourism stakeholders including the local community. The paper is concerned with the social impacts of tourism and contends that there is a latent positive social capital in rural communities. Some "creative outposts" manage not just to survive but to thrive, and tourism often acts as a catalyst for innovative local development. Examples of tourism innovation can be new and better interactions among tourism stakeholders as well as changes in institutional arrangements. Entrepreneurs and institutional stakeholders are interviewed to investigate the dynamics of local tourism innovation. The social dimension in which tourism stakeholders operate is poorly understood and this paper presents a case study of Jokkmokk village with results showing tourism has a subtle yet palpable positive social role in the community. Themes emerging from the interviews are: the tourist office and tourism firms co-evolve over time, tourism networks are loose and project-based, tourism is a desirable diversifier, and tourism contributes to the local leisure space. Particular focus is given to the fact that this is an Arctic rural community, and the research provides a basis for understanding tourism innovation systems in this context. Tourism development is found to be complementary to rural coping strategies in "creative outposts"

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18779 (URN)10.1080/21568316.2012.726254 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2013-04-22Bibliographically approved
2. Staying Power: What Influences Micro-firm Survival in Tourism?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Staying Power: What Influences Micro-firm Survival in Tourism?
2012 (English)In: Tourism Geographies, ISSN 1461-6688, E-ISSN 1470-1340, Vol. 15, no 1, 125-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how previous experience and location of entrepreneurs influence the survival of new tourism firms. The paper departs from recent evolutionary economic geography advancements, highlighting the importance of routines and skills as well as location-specific knowledge for firm success. While having been well-researched for manufacturing industries characterized by high entry barriers, little knowledge is currently available on the factors influencing survival rates in service sectors with low entry barriers. A quantitative approach applies hazard models to investigate the survival rates over a seven-year period of a total of 133 new micro-tourism firms started between 1999 and 2001 in the four northernmost counties of Sweden. The geo-referenced micro-database ASTRID links information on firm features (e.g. firm births and deaths, spatial coordinates and industry codes) to characteristics of entrepreneurs (e.g. age, education, previous experience). The main finding is that entrepreneurs with previous work experience in related sectors are more likely to survive and, in this case, entrepreneurs without local experience tend to be less successful. We find no evidence that new firms operating in regions specialized in tourism have a survival advantage. Our analysis also indicates that surviving firms improve performance over time. The paper thus contributes new knowledge on the determinants of micro-firm survival in tourism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18778 (URN)10.1080/14616688.2011.647326 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Post-inscription Challenges: Renegotiating World Heritage Management in the Laponia Area in Northern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Post-inscription Challenges: Renegotiating World Heritage Management in the Laponia Area in Northern Sweden
2016 (English)In: World Heritage Sites and Tourism: Global and Local Relations, Routledge, 2016, 117-128 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016
Series
Heritage, Culture and Identity
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18781 (URN)2-s2.0-85020340808 (Scopus ID)ETOUR (Local ID)9781409470618 (ISBN)ETOUR (Archive number)ETOUR (OAI)
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2017-08-29Bibliographically approved
4. Climate Change in Northern Sweden: Intra-regional Perceptions of Vulnerability among Winter-oriented Tourism Businesses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate Change in Northern Sweden: Intra-regional Perceptions of Vulnerability among Winter-oriented Tourism Businesses
2011 (English)In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism, ISSN 0966-9582, E-ISSN 1747-7646, Vol. 19, no 8, 919-933 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is a potential threat to society and business. Although research has noted that the tourism sector may be robust on the macro scale, significant losses at local levels have been suggested. This paper examines Upper Norrland, in Northern Sweden, by measuring the perceptions of winter-oriented tourism entrepreneurs. Their perceptions of potential threats from climate change are assessed, including how entrepreneurs view the future, in terms of climate change impacts and sustainability of the region as a winter-tourism destination. A quantitative survey of entrepreneurs (n = 63) gave responses along geographical and operator dimensions to reveal local differences within the Upper Norrland region, showing the coastland to be perceived as more exposed to change than inland areas. Venue-based businesses see climate change as a higher priority than activity-based, potentially mobile, businesses, regardless of their location. The general perception among businesses is that climate change will not drastically impact the tourism sector over the next 10 years. A basic model for mapping local differences is outlined to stimulate further study of the under-researched intra-regional nuances in climate change and tourism research. A case is made for regional planners to use this tool and to educate local businesses on adaptation techniques.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2011
Keyword
Climate change, vulnerability, winter, tourism, peripheral, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18777 (URN)10.1080/09669582.2011.573073 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
5. Tourism Evolution: On the Synergies of Tourism Studies and Evolutionary Economic Geography
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tourism Evolution: On the Synergies of Tourism Studies and Evolutionary Economic Geography
2013 (English)In: Annals of Tourism Research, ISSN 0160-7383, E-ISSN 1873-7722, Vol. 43, no Oct, 370-389 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The tourism economy is a fertile ground for multi-disciplinary research. It is vast anddiverse and differs markedly from other sectors. The challenging epistemology of thetourism economy makes it an intriguing field of study for scholars who are not groundedin the discipline. Likewise, tourism scholars tend to be open to advancements in otherdisciplines and readily embrace them. However, the idiosyncrasies of the tourismeconomy mean any new approach must be carefully vetted for fitness to task. Currentadvances in evolutionary economic geography (EEG) are receiving increasing interestfrom tourism scholars. EEG emerged from the literature on path dependence, complexitytheory, and generalised Darwinism. It has proven to be a powerful explanatory paradigmin other sectors, e.g., high-technology and creative sectors. There remains, however, alack of theoretical discussion on evolutionary principles of economic change withinrelatively low-technology service sectors, of which tourism is a prime example.This paper introduces the sub-discipline of evolutionary economic geography (EEG) to awider tourism audience and explores its possibilities and its potential drawbacks inapplications within tourism research. After presenting the core principles of EEG andhow they relate to tourism studies, a selection of new research paths combining EEG andtourism studies are presented starting with a brief illustration comparing Butler'sTourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) to Martin's stylised alternative development paths. Asignificant advantage of EEG is its heterodox economic rationale which acknowledgesthe existence of several co-evolving, long-term, socially-embedded development paths.This has resonance for tourism scholars engaged in regional development research whosee tourism as one (or more) oft-contested, dynamic development path(s) among many.The paper finds a number of latent research synergies with potential mutual benefits toEEG development and tourism studies. The paper concludes by calling for furtherempirical engagement with EEG by tourism scholars to gain new perspectives ontourism's place in the wider processes of regional economic development.

Keyword
evolutionary economic geography, path dependence, TALC, tourism
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18782 (URN)10.1016/j.annals.2013.07.001 (DOI)000327286600018 ()2-s2.0-84886589348 (Scopus ID)ETOUR (Local ID)ETOUR (Archive number)ETOUR (OAI)
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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