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Tourism Evolution: On the Synergies of Tourism Studies and Evolutionary Economic Geography
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
Univ, Dept Geog & Econ Hist, S-90187 Umea, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Annals of Tourism Research, ISSN 0160-7383, E-ISSN 1873-7722, Vol. 43, no Oct, p. 370-389Article 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 43, no Oct, p. 370-389
Keywords [en]
evolutionary economic geography, path dependence, TALC, tourism
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18782DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2013.07.001ISI: 000327286600018Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84886589348Local ID: ETOUROAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-18782DiVA, id: diva2:617140
Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tourism Development in Peripheral Areas: Processes of Local Innovation and Change in Northern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tourism Development in Peripheral Areas: Processes of Local Innovation and Change in Northern Sweden
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. p. 260
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 147
Keywords
change, development, evolution, peripheral, Sweden, tourism.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18664 (URN)ETOUR (Local ID)978-91-87103-70-4 (ISBN)ETOUR (Archive number)ETOUR (OAI)
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

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