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Tourism labor market impacts of national parks: the case of Swedish Lapland
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography. (Arcum)
2014 (English)In: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, ISSN 0044-3751, Vol. 58, no 2-3, 115-126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a Nordic context, economic impacts of tourism in national parks remained largely unknowndue to lacking implementation of standardized comparative measurements. For this reason,we want to investigate the economic impacts of national parks in a peripheral Scandinavian contextby analyzing employment in tourism. Theoretically, the paper addresses the idea of nature protectionas a tool for regional development. The scientific literature suggests that nature can be considered acommodity that can be used for the production of tourism experiences in peripheries. In this contextnature protection is applied as a label for signifying attractive places for tourists leading to increasedtourist numbers and employment. This argument follows mainly North American experiences pointingat a positive impact of protected areas on regional development. Meanwhile European studies aremore skeptical regarding desired economic benefits. A major challenge is the assessment of tourism’seconomic impacts. This paper suggests an approach that reveals the impacts on the labor market.This is particularly applicable since data is readily available and, moreover from a public perspective,employment and tax incomes are of uppermost importance in order to sustain population figures andlocal demand for public services. At the same time accessibility and low visitor numbers form majorchallenges for tourism stakeholders and complicate the assessment of economic impacts throughquestionnaires and interviews. The paper shows that the assumption that nature protection promotespositive economic development through tourism is not applicable in a northern Swedish context.Hence, it rejects the often suggested positive relationship between nature protection and tourism labormarket development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bad Soden: Buchenverlag , 2014. Vol. 58, no 2-3, 115-126 p.
Keyword [en]
protected areas, national parks, economic impact, nature-based tourism, labor markets, peripheral areas
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91593ISI: 000340811900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-91593DiVA: diva2:737195
Projects
MISTRA Arctic FuturesMISTRA Arctic Sustainable Development
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Available from: 2014-08-12 Created: 2014-08-12 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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