Sustainability as a contributor to destination attractiveness: How Chinese tourism can support sustainable community development in the Nordic countries

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Abstract

Based on interviews with Chinese tourists in Copenhagen, we investigate whether and to what extent Chinese tourists consider mundane and sustainable elements as reasons to visit the Nordic countries and as peak experiences during their visit. Based on these findings we discuss why and how sustainability is and should be positioned as an important contributor to destination attractiveness.
Previous research has indicated that while mundane lifestyles, practices and environments are often ignored in tourism research and tourism marketing (Larsen, 2008, 2019), Chinese tourists consider these as main reasons to visit the Nordic countries in the first place and peak experiences during their visit (Jørgensen, 2019). In this paper, we posit that many of the specific elements of mundane life in the Nordic countries that these tourists value can be regarded as sustainability related. These include environmental elements such as clean air, water and blue skies and social elements such as relaxed lifestyles, work-life balance and social systems (Jørgensen, 2019). We further argue that if destinations in the Nordic countries are marketed based on such intangible and tangible sustainable factors, it has the potential to contribute positively to sustainable community development in the Nordic countries. We posit that if the contribution of sustainable elements to destination attractiveness is recognised, highlighted, and supported by policymakers and the industry, this provides an economic incentive to further invest in sustainable development. We also posit that a focus on sustainable aspects in destination marketing may attract tourists with an interest in sustainability, that may act more sustainably when they travel. Thus, a focus on sustainability as a contributor to destination attractiveness may both attract tourists and contribute to sustainable community development as it creates incentives to make sustainable investments and attracts tourists that may put less strain on local communities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventConsumer Behavior in Tourism Symposium 2020 (CBTS): Consumers' travel behavior in transition: Between persistence and change - Online, Trier, Germany
Duration: 16 Dec 202018 Dec 2020
https://www.conference-service.com/CBTS2020/xpage.html?xpage=244&lang=en

Symposium

SymposiumConsumer Behavior in Tourism Symposium 2020 (CBTS)
LocationOnline
CountryGermany
CityTrier
Period16/12/202018/12/2020
OtherVirtual conference
Internet address

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