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Young adults in rural tourism areas
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines how tourism affects conditions for young adults in rural areas. Such a study lies at the intersection of research about tourism impacts, adult transition, and rural areas. The aim is to examine how largescale tourism affects the opportunities for young adults living in rural areas; their perception of place and the perceived opportunities and obstacles that tourism provides.

The thesis utilizes a mixed method approach. A quantitative study based on micro-data on individuals identifies the patterns and magnitudes of the mechanisms by which tourism affects population change among young adults. Interview methods are used in the case study area, Sälen, to investigate these mechanisms in depth. Finally, the rural–urban dichotomy is explored in a conceptual study that asks how tourism affects the perception of a local village as either rural or urban. Young inhabitants in rural areas are rarely considered in tourism research; therefore, the main contribution of this thesis is that it illuminates how tourism affects conditions for young adults in rural areas.

The thesis reveals a substantial impact on the adult transition, mainly due to easier access to the labor market and a good supply of jobs during the high season. Further, the large number of people passing through creates flows of opportunities to make friends, get a job, or just meet people. All of these factors contribute to high mobility in these places, and to the perception of them as places where things happen. The high mobility in Sälen implies that fixed migrant categories (such as stayers and leavers) are largely insufficient. The tourism environment creates a space that is always under construction and continually producing new social relations mainly perceived as opportunities. Conceptualizing this as a modern rurality is a way to move beyond the often implicit notions of urban as modern and rural as traditional.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university , 2016. , 76 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Human Geography, 10
Keyword [en]
young adults, adult transition, tourism, rural areas, Sälen, telephone interviews, register study, life history interviews, population change, mobility
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-49697ISBN: 978-91-7529-142-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-49697DiVA: diva2:917635
Public defence
2016-05-27, Clas Ohlson, Högskolan Dalarna, Röda vägen 3, Borlänge, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-07 Created: 2016-04-07 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Young Adult Transition in a Tourism Dominated Rural Area
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young Adult Transition in a Tourism Dominated Rural Area
2012 (English)In: Tourism Planning & Development, ISSN 2156-8316, Vol. 9, no 4, 429-440 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rural peripheral areas generally have an ageing and declining population, few possibilities for education, limited labour market opportunities, and a net loss of young adults. However, some peripheral rural areas hosting large-scale tourism industry has faced a different development. But despite the fact that the loss of young adults is important for the development of these areas, the adult transition in a tourism context has not been so well addressed. In this paper the adult transition in Sälen, a large-scale winter tourism destination, is explored. The analysis is based on life history interviews with focus on how young adults experience the ability to make a living (year-round) in the tourism-dominated area. The way in which they perceive their current and possible future life in Sälen is important when they make decisions about how and where to shape their futures. The findings imply that the flows of people passing through Sälen, as tourists and young seasonal workers, are important both socially and economically for the young adult inhabitants, which in turn contributes to a more secure adult transition and to Sälen's attractiveness among young adults.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012
Keyword
young adults, adult transition, rural, tourism, life history interviews
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50106 (URN)10.1080/21568316.2012.726260 (DOI)2-s2.0-84867554932 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2016-05-03 Last updated: 2017-03-10Bibliographically approved
2. Young adults’ perceptions of and affective bonds to a rural tourism community
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young adults’ perceptions of and affective bonds to a rural tourism community
2016 (English)In: Fennia, ISSN 0015-0010, E-ISSN 1798-5617, Vol. 194, no 1, 32-45 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many rural areas, in Sweden and worldwide, experience population decline where the young leave for education and work in urban areas. Employment has declined in several rural industries, such as agriculture, forestry, and fishing, while growing in other industries are often located in urban areas. Politicians and organizations have put much hope in tourism as a tool of rural development, but can tourism help reverse the rural out-migration trend among young adults? This paper explores how tourism affects young inhabitants’ perceptions of and affective bonds to a rural area in Sweden, the ski resort of Sälen. Students from the 1993–1995 elementary school graduating classes were interviewed about their migration history, childhood, and view of and ties to Sälen. The respondents experience that tourism contributes to a more vital community incorporating influences from elsewhere, but without eliminating the positive aspects of rural life. The regular flow of people – tourists, seasonal workers, and entrepreneurs – passing through Sälen presents opportunities to extend one’s social network that are widely appreciated by respondents. The high in and out mobility constitutes a key part of Sälen’s character. Contributions from tourism – such as employment, entertainment, leisure, and opportunities to forge new social relationships – are available during the adult transition, the life phase when rural areas are often perceived as least attractive. Even though out-migration occurs in Sälen, and some respondents still find Sälen too small, tourism has clearly increased the available opportunities and contributed significantly to making Sälen more attractive to young adults.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Suomen Maantieteellinen Seura, 2016
Keyword
young adults, tourism, rural development, out-migration
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50107 (URN)10.11143/46308 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-05-03 Created: 2016-05-03 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved
3. Can Tourism Reduce the Negative Out-Migration Trend of Rural Young Adults?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can Tourism Reduce the Negative Out-Migration Trend of Rural Young Adults?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50108 (URN)
Available from: 2016-05-04 Created: 2016-05-03 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved
4. Urbanity and Rurality in a Tourism Context: Exploring the Myth of Vivid Cities and Sleepy Villages
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urbanity and Rurality in a Tourism Context: Exploring the Myth of Vivid Cities and Sleepy Villages
2014 (English)In: Rural Tourism: An International Perspective / [ed] Katherine Dashper, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014, 22-40 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50109 (URN)978-1-4438-6677-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-05-03 Created: 2016-05-03 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Human Geography

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