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Stability and change in hiker characteristics and experiences: the case of the Swedish mountains 1980-2003
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
Mittuniversitetet.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The focus of this study is a comparison over time between two visitor surveys in the mountains of northern Sweden. The aim is to describe and analyze possible changes and similarities in the visitors’ motives, experiences and perceptions of attractiveness over time and to investigate whether the type of visitors has changed or not, as well as to analyze reasons behind the changes and similarities, and their possible implications. The first investigation was conducted in 1980 and the second in 2003. The results reveal several variables that have been stable over time. However, many changes have also occurred: adventure and perils, services, marked hiking trails and accessibility have become more important. In the second study, the hikers accepted infrastructure to a greater extent. The results indicate that there are mainly two different visitor segments in the area, whose interests, needs and attitudes diverge, and conflicts can arise among different activities and different visitor needs.

Keyword [en]
tourist behavior, outdoor recreation, attractiveness, service, accessibility, trend, conflict, protected area
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-28951OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-28951DiVA: diva2:228141
Available from: 2009-07-24 Created: 2009-07-24 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Protected Attractions: Tourism and Wilderness in the Swedish Mountain Region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Protected Attractions: Tourism and Wilderness in the Swedish Mountain Region
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Europe's first national parks were established in northern Sweden in 1909 and this region has thus functioned as a protected and aesthetic pleasure landscape for a century. In 1996, due to the combination of spectacular natural environment and ancient Sami traditions the Laponian World Heritage Area was established here. In spite of local cultural history and contempo-rary land use practices, the Swedish northern mountains are often described as remnants of the pristine and as wilderness - defined as the opposite to culture - and for many, wilderness is an unproblematic category of nature. With a focus on touristic use of protected areas, this thesis examines the role of different interests, including power relations, in shaping dominant descriptions of landscapes. Investigated themes include how landscape values are expressed, interpreted and explained by visitors, as well as the influence of different ideas underlying nature conservation. Results show that tourists visit the mountains to experience nature, wilderness, and scenery, and to feel mental relaxation. The existence of marked hiking trails and facilities at tourist cabins are also of importance. The attractiveness of the mountains includes the combination of comfortable conditions and a perceived untouched landscape. Tourists perceive the area as wilderness and - at the same time - filled with tourist facilities and Sami culture such as reindeer herding activities. It is found that the perception of the mountains as a wild and scenic natural landscape has not changed much during the last century. In this thesis, the concept of wilderness is problematized and contested since it produces images and values that have unrecognized effects on how we perceive and manage landscapes, including their cultural attributes. This thesis applies a critical realism approach to conceptualize landscapes.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography,Stockholm University, 2009. 52 p.
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 140
Keyword
Landscape value and perception; nature conservation policy; tourist behavior; tourist attraction; infrastructure; visitor survey; nature-culture dichotomy; Laponian World Heritage Area; Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-28966 (URN)978-91-7155-906-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-10-02, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defence, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.Available from: 2009-09-10 Created: 2009-07-28 Last updated: 2009-07-30Bibliographically approved

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