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Contextualizing the complexities of managing alternative tourism at the community-level: A case study of a nordic eco-village
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography. (European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0471-3748
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography. (European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR))
2017 (English)In: Tourism Management, ISSN 0261-5177, E-ISSN 1879-3193, Vol. 60, no June, 348-356 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To shed light on the complexities of fostering sustainability through alternative tourism, we explore the managerial contradictions and difficulties that arise as alternative tourism is developed in the name of sustainability at Sólheimar eco-village in Iceland. Following a focused ethnographic approach, we establish that those behind the management of volunteers, students and other guests regularly struggle to coordinate these respective groups in a manner that balances economic objectives with those relating to the environment and social equity. This is because limited human resources and strategic knowledge exist to fulfill all the host community’s goals through alternative tourism. The findings reveal the need to conceptualize alternative tourism as a forum for discussion between host and guest over the complexities of generating sustainable development.  This highlights the need for knowledge transmission over matters such as conflict resolution, critical reflection and cultural communication associated with the tourist experience at the community.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 60, no June, 348-356 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, alternative tourism, Iceland, volunteer tourism, focused ethnography.
National Category
Human Geography Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29796DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2016.12.015ISI: 000395599600037Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85007248633Local ID: ETOUROAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-29796DiVA: diva2:1060573
Note

Available online 27 December 2016

Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2017-08-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Imagining Tourist Spaces as Living Spaces: Towards a Relational Approach to Alternatives and Morals in Tourism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Imagining Tourist Spaces as Living Spaces: Towards a Relational Approach to Alternatives and Morals in Tourism
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many actors are taking advantage of the flexible barriers to entry of the tourist industry to engage in the production of varied forms of tourism closely related to their lifestyle, professional and communal ambitions. With the increased popularity of forms of tourism bringing the guest close to the host, it becomes relevant to ask questions related to lived experiences and close encounters in tourism scholarship. This is a moral conviction that the plurality of human experiences and critical reflexivity matter in the conception of tourist spaces and their management. In this thesis, I look for new ways to conceptually embed local people in their living spaces by approaching forms of tourism displaying non-economic elements as phenomena that create new and complex relations imbued with various implications. Tourism geography highlights the negotiated and fragmented nature of tourism, and its performative and embodied character. I apply relational geography to apprehend the multiple relations that make up local spaces and identities. With its post-structural character, relational geography uncovers voices once neglected in research, and proposes new ways of being in the world. My two qualitative case studies reflect my interest in exploring the northern European context. Firstly, I investigate craft-artists on Bornholm, Denmark and their relation to the tourist season. I do this through interviews and narrative analysis. My second case study, a focused ethnography at Sólheimar eco-village, Iceland, centres on the management of host and guest interactions.  In terms of spatial formation, results show that local actors have the agency to form networks and redefine their identities in the wake of tourism development. They form a hybrid space by fulfilling goals related to their lifestyle, livelihood and professional ambitions simultaneously. Moreover, mundane practices are presented as an integral part of a tourist landscape. In terms of management, results show that the various spatial complexities faced by communities exacerbate host and guest relations. This will require a commitment from local coordinators and managers to promote a reflexive and critical exchange during these close encounters. I ultimately argue for the imagination of tourist spaces as living spaces, where I conceptualize tourism as a mundane, yet complex, material and social experience for those living in tourist spaces. I propose two new discursive anchors that reflect the metaphor of the living space: dwelling in the tourist landscape, and sincere encounters. I contend that researching living spaces finds its moral grounds in its openness to the various ways local people dwell and encounter during tourism, and to the diverse ways researchers make sense of these practices, and of their own.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2017. 108 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 268
Keyword
Rural tourism, Volunteer tourism, ethnography, narratives, Bornholm, Sólheimar eco-village
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-31403 (URN)978-91-88527-24-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-09-29, F229, Östersund, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-08-18 Created: 2017-08-15 Last updated: 2017-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Prince, SoleneIoannides, Dimitri

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