Sustainability as Attraction: How Mundane Places and Practices Become Tourist Attractions in Scandinavia

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In tourism literature, sustainability has been inherently linked to the sustainable consumption and development of tourism products and to ways that tourists may sustainably engage with destinations. Little attention has been paid to the ways in which sustainable features, which were not initially intended for tourism, may act as tourist attractions in their own right. This paper approaches sustainability in tourism from this angle. It investigates how features such as clean and unspoiled environments, as well as practices, structures or lifestyles that are perceived as sustainable, may become or be utilized as tourist attractions. Specifically, the paper presents the preliminary findings of a qualitative study on Chinese tourism to Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland). Fourteen Chinese tourists, sixteen company representatives and six tour guides who had all engaged in Chinese tourism to Scandinavia were interviewed. The study demonstrates how sustainable practices and environments play a major role as motivators to visit Scandinavia and as tangible or intangible attractions during the visit. Based on the study, it is suggested that managing and marketing sustainable features as attractions may create additional sustainable benefits. First, as it increases the chances of attracting tourists with interest in sustainability, who may be prone to sustainable travel in general. Second, as the income generated from tourists visiting to experience sustainable features may generate incentive for additional sustainable investments from governments and industry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event27th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research: Tourism Implications and Dilemmas - UiT, Alta, Norway
Duration: 24 Sep 201826 Sep 2018


Symposium27th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
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