The Baltic Region

2021 Vol. 13 №1

Geography of inbound tourism and transboundary tourism-and-recreation region-building in Sweden

Abstract

Sweden’s tourism industry stands out for its large contribution to the development of the national economy. The vast size of the country makes it possible to trace differences in incoming tourist flows from neighbouring countries. This circumstance accounts for the novelty of this study, which lies in viewing national tourism geography from the perspective of the theory of transboundary tourism-and-recreation region building. Interregional differences in the structure of incoming tourist flows help identify the country’s cross-border tourism-and-recreation regions and delineate their borders. This research employs statistical and cartographic methods. The incoming tourist flow to Sweden grew steadily until 2020. However, the Covid-19 crisis has led to a drastic reduction in the number of incoming tourists. Based on the 2019 statistics, the findings confirm the existence of a developed transboundary tourism-and-recreation mesoregion that brings together Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. The formation boasts strong tourist links. There are another five cross-border tourism-and-recreation mesoregions: Sweden-Norway-Denmark, Middle Sweden-Norway, Sweden-Norway-Finland, Middle Sweden-Finland, and South Sweden-Finland. The number of tourists visiting cross-border mesoregions indicates the degree of development of the latter.

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Project approach in transboundary tourism-and-recreation region building: the case of Karelia

Abstract

This article considers international projects as a factor in building and developing transboundary tourism-and-recreation regions. The Karelian part of the Russian-Finnish border and the adjoining areas of Russia and Finland were the model site for the study. The research aims to measure the contribution of international projects run in 1990—2020 to transboundary region building in the Karelian borderlands. The analysis of 80 international municipal projects shows that they gave a boost to region building and development in the study area. Common trends and specific features of international projects carried out in Karelian municipalities have been identified in the context of transboundary tourism-and-recreation region building. The findings add to a comprehensive picture of how international tourism projects may forward the building and development of transboundary tourism-and-recreation regions. The results of the study can be used in research into international cooperation and tourism. The proposed approach may serve as a tool of a regional economic policy on tourism and thus broaden the scope of possible managerial decisions.

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