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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the external and internal factors that support or challenge a possible transformation of Arctic Sweden into a major ski destination…
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the external and internal factors that support or challenge a possible transformation of Arctic Sweden into a major ski destination under a changing climate.
The paper questions future availability of the physical and the human factors that foster ski tourism development in Arctic Sweden and suggests a comparative case study in relation to the already existing large resort-based ski destinations in Arctic Finland.
Preliminary documentary analysis shows that the governmental and the industrial discourses over the past decade have acknowledged a competitive edge for Sweden and its northernmost regions in particular and may even propose a structural shift for ski tourism in the near future agenda. The visualisations based on natural snow projections presented in this paper confirm this comparative advantage but other technical and socioeconomic development factors are further discussed, in relation to Arctic Finland.
Future research agenda is suggested to cover, first, assessment of natural and technical snow reliability of existing and all potential ski areas in Sweden and within its competitive set extending to all the Nordics and the Alps, then, incorporation of adaptive capacities of the suppliers but especially the likely substitution tendencies of the consumers, and finally, evaluation of the overall situation in terms of the regional development needs.
It is apparent that land use conflicts will arise in case of large ski resort-based destination development in Arctic Sweden, especially around the environmentally protected areas, which are not only already important attractions for nature-based tourism but also traditional livelihoods for the Sami.
This is the first paper to discuss a potential regional and structural shift of ski tourism in Sweden.
Travel and tourism have had a long history in the Nordic countries, but research on tourism has a relatively short tradition in the region. Recently, academic interest in the Nordic tourism space has grown and diversified especially as a result of increasing numbers of academics and institutions involved with tourism geographies and studies and education in the region. The Nordic context has provided thematic focus areas for empirical studies that characterize tourism geographies in the region, with topics including nature-based tourism, utilization of wilderness areas, second-home and rural developments, impacts in peripheries, and tourism as a tool for regional development. In addition, there are emerging research themes outside of the traditional core topics, such as urban, events, and heritage tourism.