Sami tourism in Northern Sweden Supply, demand and interaction
Abstract: Indigenous tourism is an expansive sector in the growing tourism industry. The Sami people living in Sápmi in northern Europe have started to engage in tourism, particularly in view of the rationalised and modernised methods of reindeer herding. Sami tourism offers job opportunities and enables the spreading of information. On the other hand, Sami tourism may jeopardise the indigenous culture and harm the sensitive environment in which the Sami live. The aim of this thesis is to analyse the supply and demand of Sami tourism in northern Sweden. This is presented in four articles.The first article analyses the potential of the emerging Sami tourism in Sweden, with special emphasis on the access to Sami tourism products. The study shows that there is a growing supply of tourism activities related to the Swedish Sami. The development of tourism is, however, restricted by factors such as the peripheral location and the lack of traditions of entrepreneurship.The second article analyse which factors influence tourists when they make their decisions about Sami tourism. In the article the respondents are requested to answer a number of hypothetical questions, ranking their preferences regarding supply, price and access. The study indicates that tourism related to the Sami and Sami culture has a considerable future potential, but also that there is a gap between supply and demand.In the third article the analysis shows that the festival in Jokkmokk, thanks to continuously added attractions, has been able to retain a rather high level of popularity, despite its peripheral location.Finally, the fourth article analyses to what extent the winter festival in Jokkmokk is a genuinely indigenous event, and to what extent it is staged. It is argued that the indigenous culture presented at the festival and in media is highly staged, although backstage experiences are available for the Sami and for the tourists who show a special interest.
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