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Route to destruction?: second home tourism in small island communities
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2007 (English)In: Island Studies Journal, ISSN 1715-2593, Vol. 2, no 1, 27-46 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is widely argued that second home demand causes the displacement of permanentresidents. This study examines the displacement theory by looking at three case islands inthe Stockholm archipelago, scrutinizing the development of population figures and secondhomes. Results show that the individuals migrating from these islands are improving theirsituation compared to prior to their migration; there are also signs that the decision tomigrate is associated with major events in life such as studies, job opportunities and familyformation. Hence, this study questions the simplified suggestion that there is a widespreaddisplacement of people due to outside demand for second homes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Charlottetown: Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island , 2007. Vol. 2, no 1, 27-46 p.
Keyword [en]
Second homes, tourism, islands, displacement, Stockholm archipelago, Sweden
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3168OAI: diva2:141657
Available from: 2008-05-07 Created: 2008-05-07 Last updated: 2011-06-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Second home tourism: The root to displacement in Sweden?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Second home tourism: The root to displacement in Sweden?
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During certain seasons, rural and peripheral locations with significant numbers of second homes become the destination for major traffic and commodity flows. The outcome of this seasonal flow can be somewhat problematic and cause conflicts. One of the most controversial issues of conflict is whether the demand for second homes has a displacement effect on permanent residents. It has been argued that, especially in attractive destinations, the demand for second homes has caused an involuntary out-migration of permanent residents. More affluent second home buyers can outbid the competition from permanent residents. Hence, permanent residents must buy dwellings elsewhere, or must leave due to rising living costs through increased property taxes in the area. This thesis aims to study the issue of second home induced displacement in attractive second home locations in Sweden. This is justified because it is unknown to what extent second homes have contributed to the problems in these areas.

The thesis consists of four empirical studies presented in four separate papers. The studies derive from two different data sources. The first three papers are based on official register data, whereas the fourth paper is based on data collected from a questionnaire survey. The first paper is aimed at finding possible locations of second home induced displacement in Sweden. Results show that areas with a positive population development, proximity to the sea and with long traditions of tourism seem to attract second home owners. The Stockholm archipelago has been deemed to be the most attractive second home region in Sweden and a place that may possibly harbour second home induced displacement. The second paper tests the displacement theory in a regional context in the Stockholm archipelago. Results show that the number of second homes has decreased in favour of permanent homes. Further, the permanent homes’ share of the total property values in the area is increasing. Hence, permanent homes have strengthened their position, implying that dwellings used for permanent purposes have a higher impact on price inflation for dwellings than second homes do. The Stockholm archipelago is in a state of repopulation rather than second home induced displacement. Paper three examines in- and out-migration and dwelling development in three case study islands in the Stockholm archipelago. Results show that these islands have the preconditions for displacement. However, results also show that individuals leave the islands for reasons associated with major events in life such as studies and job opportunities, not displacement. The final paper deals with second home related out-migration from the island of Sandö, one of the single most attractive destinations in Sweden. Results show that the out-migrants left the island on a voluntary basis and did not perceive themselves as being displaced. They state that their life improved after they left Sandö and they are, in general, not willing to return. The paper concludes that people move from the rural periphery to urban areas in order to find a better future and this move is not associated with a forced displacement.

In conclusion, this thesis has shown that second home tourism is not a widespread problem or the main cause of depopulation in attractive second home destinations in Sweden. As for many other countries throughout the world, the preconditions for a displacement situation are present in many locations. However, other causes such as job opportunities and educational possibilities are more important in explaining the negative population development. Second home owners are described as an external threat to the traditional way of life and serve as convenient scapegoats, compared to less tangible and underlying causes, which are far more difficult to address.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Kulturgeografi, 2008. 182 p.
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; ISSN 1402-5205
second homes, displacement, tourism, mobility, Stockholm archipelago, Sweden.
National Category
Economic Geography
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1640 (URN)1402-5205 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-05-29, S 213, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2008-05-07 Created: 2008-05-07 Last updated: 2010-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Marjavaara, Roger
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