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

Authors

  • Fredrik Hoppstadius Department of Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden Karlstad University, Universitetsgatan 2, SE-651 88, Karlstad, Sweden. fredrik.hoppstadius@kau.se
  • Cecilia Möller Department of Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden Karlstad University, Universitetsgatan 2, SE-651 88, Karlstad, Sweden. cecilia.moller@kau.se

Keywords:

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

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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Published

2018-10-01

How to Cite

Hoppstadius, F., & Möller, C. (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, 28–45. Retrieved from https://ejtr.vumk.eu/index.php/about/article/view/338