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Crisis management and preparedness in the Swedish tourism sector

Authors: Lena Grip*, Karlstad University, Lotta Braunerhielm, Karlstad University, Nina Christenson, Karlstad University, Cecilia Möller, Karlstad University
Topics: Communication, Tourism Geography, Planning Geography
Keywords: Nature tourism, crisis management, crisis communication, digitalization, climate change, extreme weather, geomedia
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Swedish tourism sector is constantly growing, with new trends as ”vacation at home” and increasing numbers of international tourists visiting the Swedish nature. Investments in nature tourism and the right of access to private land have added to many international tourists in the Swedish countryside. Nature tourism is in many ways unique, meaning that visitors are not part of an organized activity. This coincides with increased societal risks and vulnerabilities owing to a changed climate, like large forest fires or extreme weather (storms, rain, flooding, heat etc.). What will happen when a risk event occur, when there are tourists in the nature? How prepared is the society, and how prepared are the visitors?
The conditions for crisis communication is changing with social media, apps and digitalization of information. This can increase the possibility to reach nature tourists in the countryside, who are not reached by domestic information/news updates (TV and radio). Crisis management and communication is an established field in tourism research. However, obstacles and possibilities for digitalization in the tourism sector in relation to the specific conditions of nature-based tourism needs more attention.
The aim of this study is to understand how occurrence of climate related crises could be communicated in the tourism sector of nature tourism. Crisis management and risk preparedness and awareness, and collaborations and relations between the tourism sector and other crisis management actors (municipalities and public authorities) is in focus, as well as the nature tourists themselves.

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