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  • 1.
    Carson, Doris A.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Åberg, Kajsa G.
    Region Västerbotten, Umeå, Sweden.
    Prideaux, Bruce
    Central Queensland University, Australia.
    Cities of the North: gateways, competitors or regional markets for hinterland tourism destinations?2020In: Dipping in to the North: living, working and traveling in sparsely populated areas / [ed] Linda Lundmark, Dean B. Carson, Marco Eimermann, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, p. 285-310Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter discusses how urbanisation in the north is affecting the prospects for tourism development in rural hinterland destinations. Using examples from northern Sweden, Australia and Iceland, this chapter identifies how destination hierarchies may change as a result of urban growth in the north. While northern cities function as 'gateways' to the hinterland, they may also emerge as competitors to rural destinations, limiting regional visitor dispersal to day excursions or 'crowding out' tourists from rural areas. The cases finally emphasise the importance of northern cities as generating markets for hinterland destinations. This relationship may offer more stable development opportunities in the longer term, thus requiring more attention in northern tourism planning.

  • 2.
    Edelheim, Johan R.
    et al.
    The Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger, Norway; Multidimensional Tourism Institute, University of Lapland, Finland.
    Thomas, Kimberly
    School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, University of Guelph, Guelph, OT, Canada.
    Åberg, Kajsa G.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
    Phi, Giang
    Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark.
    What do conferences do?: What is academics' intangible return of investment (ROI) from attending an academic conference?2018In: Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, ISSN 1531-3220, E-ISSN 1531-3239, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 94-107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conferences are funny events. They are self-evident elements of our lives as academics: meetings that occur, often annually; take place in various locations; and involve (hopefully) like-minded people, aiming to share their latest research findings. Conferences are actually so selfevident that very little research exists analysing what takes place at conferences, why people attend them in the first place, and essentially what the conference does to delegates as participants. This article is, on one hand, a reflective report from an academic conference: TEFI 9 —Celebrating the Disruptive Power of Caring in Tourism Education. But it is also simultaneously an analysis of the implicit and explicit rationale and return on investment for attending academic conferences, in the words of three, at that time, PhD candidate rapporteurs and one professor rapporteur, who acts as this article's narrator.

  • 3.
    Åberg, Kajsa G.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    "Anyone could do that": Nordic perspectives on competence in tourism2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In academic reasoning, as well as policy rhethoric, much attention has been drawn to the low thresholds to employment and entrepreneurship in tourism. The purpose of this thesis is to go beyond the simplified images and examine the educational characteristics of the tourism workforce in a way that includes both a geographical and work task related aspect. By employing a sequential mix of methods, two perspectives on competence in tourism are presented. First, the actual presence of formal education within the workforce is mapped and discussed based on descriptive analyses of register data. Thereafter, thematic analyses of interviews are used to allow for a discussion on underlying reasoning of recruitment. The theoretical point of departure is that the workforce is a crucial input factor of the production process in labour intense service sectors such as tourism. However, the access to a suitable workforce differs between destinations. It is therefore imperative to scrutinize its characteristics in order to set relevant strategies for development, as well as education.

    The thesis contains four individual papers and an introductory section. The first two papers are based on register data on the Swedish national workforce in the years 2000, 2005 and 2010. The results show that the general level of formal education is not exceptionally low in tourism and that it is rather linked to geography than occupational sector. There was also confirmed to be a mismatch between tourism-specific education and work in tourism. In the second part of the thesis, focus is turned to the managerial segment within destination development. The geographical scope includes the northern region of Sweden and one case study area each in Norway and Finland. The empirical material shows that tourism-specific education was not prioritized when recruiting for destination management.

    The empirical findings are brought together in the concluding discussion of the thesis. It is there suggested that reasoning on the educational characteristics of the tourism workforce needs to  include the diversity of local preconditions and needs relating to geography and work tasks.            

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  • 4.
    Åberg, Kajsa G.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Marjavaara, Roger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Tracking the tourism-specific educated in SwedenManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Åberg, Kajsa G.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Müller, Dieter K.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    The development of geographical differences in education levels within the Swedish tourism industry2018In: Tourism Geographies, ISSN 1461-6688, E-ISSN 1470-1340, Vol. 20, no S1, p. 67-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The nexus of workforce and destination development is a largely uncharted area within tourism research. The local human capital has above all been in focus when underlining tourism’s potential to create employment even for the inexperienced and less educated. However, a discordant strand of theory holds the low levels of qualified knowledge within the industry responsible for absent destination development in areas struggling to develop competitive advantages. Additionally, the in-migration of a skilled workforce may be hampered by a lack of amenities attracting permanent residents. In order to explore whether the tourism sector is characterized by a less educated share of the workforce, a study was performed using micro-level data on the full working population of Sweden during the years 2000–2010. The workforce in tourism was compared to the total and two other low-skill sectors, and the results show that the educational aspects within tourism are more related to geography than economic sectors. Contrary to general presumptions, the workforce within the tourism sector has a higher level of formal education than the other selected sectors in regions with generally low educational levels. The implication is thus that strategies aimed at creating employment for the least educated in rural areas need to be reconsidered, and not unconditionally target the tourism sector. Above all, tourism development needs to be based on assessments of local preconditions rather than a generalized image.

  • 6.
    Åberg, Kajsa G.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Svels, Kristina
    Åbo Akademi, Finland.
    Destination development in Ostrobothnia: great expectations of less involvement2018In: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, ISSN 1502-2250, E-ISSN 1502-2269, p. S7-S23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Multi-actor involvement and cooperation are emphasized elements of destination development. Whereas prior research has addressed challenges involved in creating inclusive structures and trust through bottom-up approaches, this paper’s focus is on the less explored attitude of acceptance of a top-down structure. The case study of Ostrobothnia in Finland shows a regional destination organization that went from broad involvement to less inclusiveness and transparency. Through interviews with public and private stakeholders, it was found that the formal exclusion was accepted by all actors, even those who were excluded, based on their common high expectations of enhanced effectiveness of the new organization. Building on institutional theory and inclusiveness, it is suggested that the long-lasting formal collaboration had created the trust needed among the stakeholders for a new, lean management to replace the old. However, lasting formal collaboration may also lead to development of informal networks that hinder further interaction. Any formal collaboration or partnership between the public and private sectors therefore needs to acknowledge the local socio-political context to overcome established social hierarchies and open up for new influences. Co-determination should be held as a potential solution rather than an imposed structure, as it depends on expectations and local conditions.

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