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  • 1.
    Chekalina, Tatiana
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Fuchs, Matthias
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Lexhagen, Maria
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Margaryan, Lucine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Measuring Customer-Based Brand Equity for Tourism Destinations - Understanding Missing Value Patterns for Tangible Destination Resources2013In: / [ed] Altinay, L., Jauhari, V., Vong, F. & Uysal, M, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Fredman, Peter
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Exploring the Supply of Nature-Based Tourism in Sweden2013In: Innovation and value creation in experience‐based tourism: Book of proceedings / [ed] Frank Lindberg, 2013, p. 113-Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Fredman, Peter
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    The Supply of Nature-based Tourism in Sweden: A National Inventory of Service Providers2014Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This report provides a descriptive overview of a national inventory of nature-based tourism (NBT) service providers in Sweden. In order to obtain a representative sample a “geographical distribution” approach was used based on the cooperation of regional tourist bureaus. As a result, contact information of 2060 service providers was received. Following two non-response check-ups and a screening question the effective sample was 1821 NBT service providers (referred to as “companies”) and a follow-up web survey resulted in 648 valid responses. Results from the survey are reported under the following themes: Business operations; Seasonality and geographical distribution; Influence of other land users; The role of National Parks; Nature and wildlife; Infrastructure, access and legal rights; Environmental responsibility; Sales and costs; Employment; The market for nature-based tourism and Networking. Open ended questions are reported in the Appendices. Among the many results presented in the report we like to highlight the following;

     

    • The general impression from the results is that NBT is a rather diversified sector which relies on multiple business operations. Only about 20 % of the companies have one hundred percent of their annual sales from NBT.

     

    • The supply of NBT in Sweden circles around different types of water based activities to a large extent when measured vis-à-vis importance to annual sales. It is also a summer business – between 60-80 % of all respondents ranked the months June-September as the most important season.

     

    • Guided activities in nature and accommodation are ranked as the most important business activities while fishing, kayaking, canoeing and/or rafting are the most important recreation activities.

     

    • Future growth of the Swedish NBT sector is likely. While 37 % of the companies classified themselves as being in a growth phase and 6 % in start-up, only 8 % were in recession and 2 % in liquidation.

     

    • The counties in Sweden having the highest absolute number of NBT service providers are Västra Götaland, Norrbotten, Jämtland and Östergötland.

     

    • The majority of the companies are dependent on access to land with an external ownership. The freedom to roam in nature is very important to three-quarters of all respondents while only four percent think this opportunity is of no importance at all. Hiking trails and cabins are the most important types of infrastructure.

     

    • Three most important nature environments for NBT operations in Sweden are forests, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Hydroelectric dams, wind power plants and forestry are among the land and water uses which are the most negative to the companies in this study.

     

    • Between 5-15 % of all NBT companies in this study are engaged in environmental responsibility programs such as sustainability reporting, CSR or carbon offsetting measures.

     

    • Looking at the importance of different wildlife we find that fish, birds and moose are the most important. Only about 14 % of the companies report activities within or in the 5 km range from a National Park.

     

    • The average annual sale is close to 2 million SEK among the companies in this study and the total sales of the Swedish NBT sector is estimated as at least 3,6 Billion SEK. There are a small number of large and a large number of small NBT service providers in terms of annual sales.

     

    • Just over 60 % of the companies reports at least one full time year round employment while 40 % have at least one part time year round employment working with NBT operations.

     

    • Most employees are from the county where the company is registered. About one in five companies have employees from other counties in Sweden outside the county where the company is registered while 15 % of the companies report employees from other countries than Sweden.

     

    • Majority of the sales are from the private market segment. On average, about 14 % of the companies report heavy reliance (proportion of 80-100%) on customers from the same county where the company is registered. In contrast, only about 5 % report the same reliance on customers from Sweden outside the county where the company is registered. Finally, 17 % report similar proportion of customers from countries other than Sweden (international customers).

     

    • Besides Sweden the most important foreign markets are Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. Only a few percent of the companies report more distant markets such as Asia or the USA.

     

    • Around 22 % of the companies cooperate with the Swedish Ecotourism Association (Svenska ekoturismföreningen), the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) and the Swedish Tourism Association (STF) respectively. It is less common to be affiliated with the Swedish hospitality industry (Visita) or a forest owner association.

     

    • Almost half of all respondents were working in another non-service company immediately prior to starting/getting employed by the current NBT company. Only one third worked in another service or tourist company.

     

    • 39 % of all respondents have at least one year of experience from the NBT sector before they started the company or became an employee of the company where they currently work.
  • 4.
    Godtman Kling, Kristin
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Fuchs, Matthias
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    (In) equality in the outdoors: gender perspective on recreation and tourism media in the Swedish mountains2018In: Current Issues in Tourism, ISSN 1368-3500, E-ISSN 1747-7603Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines gender differences in participation in various outdoor recreation and tourism activities in the Swedish mountain region, and how these activities are portrayed from a gender perspective on the websites of five major tourist destinations. Spending time in nature has been linked to better health and well-being, and this article contributes to research on the unequal opportunities women and men have in taking part of such advantages. Results show that there is a gender difference in both participation and in representation of outdoor recreation. The observed gender difference is not only in line with the traditional heteronormativity but also suggests that new trends in outdoor recreation are further favoring traditionally masculine modes of engagement with nature. This suggests the need for re-thinking not only gender norms but also human relationships with nature in general.

  • 5.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    A review of: Heritage, Conservation and Communities. Engagement, Participation and Capacity Building, edited by Gill Chitty2018In: Tourism Geographies, ISSN 1461-6688, E-ISSN 1470-1340, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 575-577Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    A Review of “Tourism and oil: Preparing for the challenge” by Susanne Becken2018In: Journal of Tourism Futures, ISSN 2055-5911, E-ISSN 2055-592X, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 115-116Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    A Review of “Tourism and the Anthropocene”2016In: Tourism Geographies, ISSN 1461-6688, E-ISSN 1470-1340, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 458-459Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Commercialization of nature through tourism2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    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.

  • 9.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Nature as a commercial setting: the case of nature-based tourism providers in Sweden2018In: Current Issues in Tourism, ISSN 1368-3500, E-ISSN 1747-7603, Vol. 21, no 16, p. 1893-1911Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study analyses variations in the operational setting in the context of nature-based tourism (NBT) and draws much needed attention to the supply side of this sector by segmenting the NBT service providers based on their setting preferences. This paper focuses on the setting of NBT as an important alternative avenue for understanding the operational context of NBT supply. This approach is subsequently empirically explored through a national survey among the NBT service providers in Sweden. The data analysis demonstrates that the companies can be rather clearly clustered based on the variations in the perceived importance and impact of NBT setting components. This study therefore helps in understanding the role of a commercial setting in explaining NBT supply, which has a potential to not only contribute to developing the research of this sector further but also help in avoiding possible conflicts with other natural resource users and improve its overall management.

  • 10.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Fredman, Peter
    Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
    Bridging outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism in a commercial context: Insights from the Swedish service providers2017In: Journal of Outdoor Recreation, ISSN 2213-0780, E-ISSN 2213-0799, Vol. 17, no March 2017, p. 84-92Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates how outdoor recreation demand is reflected in the commercial tourism supply. We bring together the demand and the supply perspectives as well as the domestic and international dimensions, i.e. linking outdoor recreation with nature-based tourism. The data is collected through a nation-wide survey among nature-based tourism providers, catering to both domestic and international markets in Sweden. Four major data-driven avenues of commercializing outdoor recreation are discussed (Winter/Nordic, Summer/Active, Summer/Relaxing and Extractive) and further profiled against external variables, such as types of business operations, international markets or seasonality. The findings offer a new insight into the patters of the commercial supply of nature-based tourism in Sweden, while also building on the previous research and history of outdoor recreation. Evident commercial importance and domestic popularity of such ordinary outdoor activities as cycling on roads, swimming, jogging, picnicking or hiking outside mountain areas are linked to changes in leisure and lifestyles noticed previously. Commercialization of outdoor recreation, a snapshot of which is presented in this study, is discussed as an ever-expanding and diversifying process, observed both in Sweden and globally.

  • 11.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Fredman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Natural amenities and the regional distribution of nature-based tourism supply in Sweden2017In: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, ISSN 1502-2250, E-ISSN 1502-2269, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 145-159Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 12.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Fredman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    The Supply of Nature-based Tourism in Sweden: A National Inventory of Service Providers2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Prince, Solene
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Ioannides, Dimitri
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Röslmaier, Michael
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Dancing with Cranes: A humanist perspective of cultural ecosystem services of wetlands2018In: Tourism Geographies, ISSN 1461-6688, E-ISSN 1470-1340Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cultural ecosystem services (CES) are important spatial elements providinghumans with recreational, aesthetic, spiritual and other benefits. Yet, because of their immaterial, subjective, qualitative and unmeasurable nature, this means that scientists,decision-makersand general public oftenfind their value difficult to grasp. Weenrich the CES approach with theoretical insights from humanistgeography, where we frame CESas arising from perpetual interactions between humans and their environment.Places are formed through various processes, both organic and planned, which endow people with unique identities, experiences, capabilities, knowledge and skills.We use the rural wetland area of Lake Hornborga, Sweden, with its complex history of restoration phases, to explore theprofound interrelations betweenenvironmental spaces and cultural practices expressed in the everyday activities of learning, playing, creating, caring, producing, and consuming. The data was collected through qualitative methods, including interviews, observations and a focused group interview, in order to capture these unique senses and experiences. The findings outline CES as key drivers behind the formation of place, rather than mere labels for inventoryingbenefits people receive from nature. The presence of the iconic migratory crane is especially conducive to a positive sense of place and the practice of various activities, including tourism, around the wetland. We frame the implications for planning and future research of our findings within a context of ethics.

  • 14.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Stensland, Stian
    Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
    Sustainable by nature? The case of (non)adoption of eco-certification among the nature-based tourism companies in Scandinavia2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 162, p. 559-567Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the factors associated with the (non)adoption of eco-certification among the nature-based tourism companies in the Scandinavian region. Previous research suggested that the popularity of tourism eco-certification schemes remained limited in the region due to socio-cultural, historical and other specifics. We revisit this query a decade later with the support of nation-wide data from two Scandinavian countries – Norway and Sweden. The quantitative results suggest that such factors as motivations for operating a nature-based tourism business, beliefs about eco-certification effects, economic and demographic characteristics, are associated with the eco-certification adoption. Qualitative insights shed more light on the existing barriers for this sustainability approach in the region. The results suggest that companies with strong beliefs in the positive context (i.e. beliefs that eco-certification is capable to generate higher income, more customers and provide marketing advantage), lifestyle and sustainability-oriented business goals together with favorable organizational context (larger size, higher income and having a female leader) are more likely to invest in an eco-certification scheme.

  • 15.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Wall-Reinius, Sandra
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Commercializing the unpredictable: Perspectives from wildlife watching tourism entrepreneurs in Sweden2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    While wildlife watching has primarily been associated with the ‘charismatic megafauna’ of the Global South, the attention to Europe’s own biodiversity and its tourist potential has been on the rise. Tourism companies, offering wildlife watching experiences and attracting tourists with glossy animal images, share a unique property: they build their business on a promise they have no guarantee of fulfilling. The factor of luck becomes important, as evident in the advertisement texts of wildlife watching tours, which are replete with ‘luck’, ‘hopefully’, ‘chance’, ‘occasionally’, ‘no guarantee’ and similar verbiage emphasizing uncertainty and unpredictability. Understanding commercialization of relatively uncontrollable natural phenomena (wild animals) in a similarly uncertain natural setting (wilderness) is the aim of our paper. In our study we look at the case of wildlife watching companies in Sweden. The species used in these wildlife watching arrangements include inter alia free ranging bear, Eurasian elk, wolf, roe-deer, beaver and seal. Through a series of interviews and participant observations we distill and elaborate on the following major themes, shedding more light into the specifics of this type of nature commercialization through tourism: lack of control as an inherent property of wildlife watching tourism; agency and continuous negotiation of the uncertainties within the operational setting (both naturogenic and anthropogenic); importance of guide performances and ‘secondary’ experiences; presentation of unpredictability as authenticity (authentic wilderness).

  • 16.
    Margaryan, Lusine
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Wall-Reinius, Sandra
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.
    Commercializing the Unpredictable: Perspectives From Wildlife Watching Tourism Entrepreneurs in Sweden2017In: Human Dimensions of Wildlife, ISSN 1087-1209, E-ISSN 1533-158X, Vol. 22, no 5, p. 406-421Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Tourism companies that offer wildlife watching experiences share a unique property—they build their business on a promise they have no guarantee of fulfilling (showing wild animals). The factor of luck becomes important, as evident in the advertisement texts of wildlife watching tours. Understanding commercialization of uncontrollable natural phenomena (wild animals) in a similarly uncertain natural setting (wilderness) is the aim of our article. In this illustrative case study, we examine wildlife watching companies in Sweden, focusing on free ranging bear, moose, wolf, roe-deer, beaver, and seal. Through interviews and participant observations with eight wildlife watching entrepreneurs, we elaborate on the following major themes that help understand specific challenges associated with these businesses: lack of control as an inherent property of wildlife watching tourism, agency and continuous negotiation of uncertainties within the operational setting, importance of guide performances and “secondary” experiences, and using uncertainty as a way of enhancing authenticity.

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