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Tourism activity as an expression of place attachment: place perceptions among tourism actors in the Jukkasjärvi area of northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
2018 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, ISSN 1502-2250, E-ISSN 1502-2269, Vol. 18, p. S42-S59Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thus far, the relation between place attachment and lifestyle entrepreneurship has received limited attention in tourism studies. Our study addresses tourism actors' relationship to the place of their engagement, here the Jukkasjärvi area of northern Sweden. Using a qualitative approach, we analyse their place attachment with particular attention to their perceptions of nature. Thereby, we contribute to a deeper understanding of the theoretical linkage between place attachment and lifestyle entrepreneurship in rural nature-based tourism. We find that all actors have strong bonds to the places of their engagement, which we suggest is a key motivator for their professional engagement with tourism. Furthermore, our findings highlight that not only the functional dimension of the environment, but particularly emotional attachment to the environment allows people to perceive places as "ideal" for their activities. All actors speak of their strong appreciation of the natural environment, in particular the climate and seasons, and they embody their attachment through diverse outdoor activities. They claim they wish to "share their lifestyle" with tourists and pursue work-related activities in the same ways and in the same places as their private activities. Hence, we propose that positive perceptions of the natural environment and particularly enthusiasm for different outdoor activities foster as well as promote tourism activity more than other factors do. Hence, our findings illustrate that place attachment may stimulate and promote tourism activity in different ways as well as that tourism activity itself can be seen as an expression of place attachment. This has significant implications both for successful tourism entrepreneurship and industry, or possibly entrepreneurship in rural areas more broadly, as well as for rural development and the promotion of active decisions to "stay".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018. Vol. 18, p. S42-S59
Keywords [en]
Place attachment, lifestyle entrepreneurship, nature-based tourism, northern Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-155044DOI: 10.1080/15022250.2017.1389123ISI: 000452013200004Local ID: 881251OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-155044DiVA, id: diva2:1276023
Note

Supplement: 1

Special Issue: SI

Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2019-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Schilar, HanneleneKeskitalo, E Carina H

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