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Natural amenities and the regional distribution of nature-based tourism supply in Sweden
Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för turismvetenskap och geografi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-1641-4123
Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för turismvetenskap och geografi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-3098-1490
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, ISSN 1502-2250, E-ISSN 1502-2269, Vol. 17, nr 2, s. 145-159Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Nature-based tourism is often perceived as one of the easiest and readily-available tools for regional development and diversification of rural economies, and Sweden is not an exception. Successful tourism development, however, depends on various amenities, which vary with region. This article, based on a national survey among nature-based tourism service providers in Sweden, discusses general characteristic of Swedish nature-based tourism supply, reveals the most important natural amenities from the supply perspective and discusses the patterns of their regional variation. It is further investigated how distributions of various amenities is related to the density of nature-based tourism operations across regions. The scope of the analysis includes three levels: country, land and county. Results show that nature-based tourism in Sweden is a highly diversified sector, which demonstrates significant north-south variations, visible on the level of the three lands. On the level of counties, natural and human-made amenities are comparable in their power to predict distribution of NBT operations, suggesting that the border between NBT and other forms of tourism is not as distinct as is often imagined.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2017. Vol. 17, nr 2, s. 145-159
Nyckelord [en]
Nature-based tourism, tourism supply, natural amenities, Sweden
Nationell ämneskategori
Kulturgeografi Ekonomisk geografi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27760DOI: 10.1080/15022250.2016.1153430ISI: 000396820500003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84961200147Lokalt ID: ETOUROAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-27760DiVA, id: diva2:930512
Anmärkning

Published online: 10 Mar 2016

Tillgänglig från: 2016-05-24 Skapad: 2016-05-24 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-10-09Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Commercialization of nature through tourism
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Commercialization of nature through tourism
2017 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation contributes to developing knowledge on the commercialization of natural resources through tourism. This is achieved by means of understanding the main avenues through which natural resources are commercialized, and analyzing the operational setting of tourism firms. The focal area is nature-based tourism– a type of tourism, taking place incomparatively unmodified natural areas, which has emerged as a powerful gravitational force, integrating an increasing variety of natural resources into the commercial domain. The point of departure is the assumption that fornature-based tourism firms, nature is simultaneously the main object of commercialization and the operational setting, where this commercialization happens. The attention here is, therefore, on the supply side, i.e. on the smalland micro firms, acting as the agents of commercialization. The empirical data come primarily from a nation-wide survey among the nature-based tourism firms in Sweden, generating the most comprehensive information about this sector to date. Additional data come from in-depth interviews and observations among the nature-based tourism firms in Sweden, as well assecondary sources (official statistics on natural resources and a survey in Norway).

This is a compilation thesis, i.e. it consists of a cover essay and five individual papers. The cover essay offers a bird’s eye view on all the papers, frames them theoretically and synthesizes all the findings into a coherent contribution. Papers I and II create the foundation, necessary for understanding the processes of nature commercialization and the operational setting of naturebased tourism firms, while Papers III, IV and V provide supplementary insights into these areas of inquiry. Paper I starts by building on existing knowledge in outdoor recreation to approach nature-based tourism. Paper II focuses on the operational setting, conceptualizes and explores its dimensions. Building on this, Paper III looks at how the presence of various amenities in the operational setting can explain the localization patterns of the firms on various geographical levels. Paper IV focuses on the operational setting dimensions omitted in the previous papers, i.e. the continuous efforts of the firms to negotiate the inherent uncertainty within the setting. Finally, Paper V looks at various characteristics of nature-based tourism firms to understand the specifics of sustainability strategies.

The main findings in these five papers demonstrate that the nature-basedtourism is an active integrator of a wide variety of natural resources into the commercial domain, and approaching them from the supply perspective provides an additional understanding of the sector. This approach suggests that the nature-based tourism supply could be understood not only from the perspectives of tourist activities offered, but also from the perspective of operational setting preferences (e.g., the axes of high-low specialization, and high-low dependence on specific setting features), providing a new insight into the ways of nature commercialization through tourism. The operational setting itself becomes an important resource, being simultaneously part of the supply and the environment of a tourism system, bringing together a multitude of dimensions and actors. The resources nature-based tourism depends on defy ‘commercialization-friendly’ criteria, creating a context of uncertainty and demanding higher levels of creativity and agency on behalf of the firms. Commercialized nature experiences become important not only for specialized, skill- and equipment-intensive activities, but also for rather simple and relaxed ones, on both international and domestic markets. This suggests the growing importance of commercial nature-based tourism, linked to growing sustainability challenges. The sustainable resource use within the Scandinavian nature-based tourism context, however, is deeply entrenched inunique local specifics, and the entrepreneurial characteristics are not always compatible with market-based sustainability policies, suggesting the need for more fine-tuned approaches.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2017. s. 141
Serie
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 271
Nyckelord
nature-based tourism, commercialization, operational setting, servicescape
Nationell ämneskategori
Kulturgeografi Miljövetenskap Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-31800 (URN)978-91-88527-30-1 (ISBN)
Disputation
2017-11-17, F229, Östersund, 10:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2017-10-09 Skapad: 2017-10-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-10-09Bibliografiskt granskad

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