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‘You have to try being a role model’ – Learning for
sustainability among tourism entrepreneurs in a Swedish
biosphere reserve

Fredrik Hoppstadius1* and Cecilia Möller2

Received: 18/12/2017 Accepted: 08/05/2018

 

1Department of Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden Karlstad University, Universitetsgatan 2, SE-651 88, Karlstad, Sweden. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2Department of Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden Karlstad University, Universitetsgatan 2, SE-651 88, Karlstad, Sweden. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
*Corresponding author
   
Abstract
 
The pursuit for sustainability in biosphere reserve (BR) tourism entails the need not merely for tourism businesses to adapt to the changing environmental preferences of tourists but also for entrepreneurs to gain new knowledge about sustainability. Our study illustrates how place is central to grasp the processes of learning for sustainability. Drawing on qualitative interviews, we examine place-specific and social learning processes for sustainability among small-scale tourism entrepreneurs in a Swedish BR. The findings are discussed using an analytic framework, based on themes of place-specific learning emerging from the interviews. Learning for sustainability among tourism entrepreneurs entails an emphasis on both social and spatial processes. Our findings show how the small-scale tourism entrepreneurs engage in learning through their interactions with tourists at their tourism establishments, through networking with other tourism businesses and regional stakeholders, through engaging with local resources and cultural norms of the BR, and through their experiences and practices connected to their everyday lives and the private sphere.
   

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Keywords: Sustainability; place; learning; tourism entrepreneurship; biosphere reserves (BRs)

    
Citation: Hoppstadius, F., C. Möller (2018) ‘You have to try being a role model’ – Learning for sustainability among tourism entrepreneurs in a Swedish biosphere reserve. European Journal of Tourism Research 20, pp. 28-45

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European Journal of Тourism Research