Research on Sustainable Visits
In the “Sustainable visits!” programme, some thirty researchers in the fields of technology, economics, ecology and culture, collaborate in six thematic areas, or “windows”. Using the new cruise berth in Visby as a departure point, a large number of projects will examine visits, visitors, visited and destinations from a global perspective. In all projects sustainability is a key objective: What is sustainability? How can visits become sustainable? The six thematic areas:
1. Tourism history of Gotland. Destination development – Case Gotland
The hospitality industry of Gotland has been an important factor to the region for more than 150 years. The seven projects on the “Tourism industry of Gotland” will shed light on how Gotland became an attractive tourist destination, what have been the impacts on society and nature in terms of sustainable development, and which structural changes have been associated with destination development from an historical and future outlook.
2. Imageries. Studies of visitors, visited and destinations.
In four projects, we examine how visitors, destinations and the visited permanent residents constitute a mutual relationship. Our focus will be images, written records and activities (tourist brochures, travelogues, guidebooks, guided tours, local/regional information, web pages, Facebook groups, etc.) as means that actively contribute to form and reshape this relationship.
3. Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation
In two projects, we intend to unveil existing entrepreneurship and innovation in relation to the cruise berth and the development of the hospitality industry on Gotland. The objective is to improve the understanding of the prerequisites for sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation. Additionally, we will examine how large and new SMEs can coexist to create diverse opportunities for visitors and ensure a diversified and economically/socially sustainable hospitality industry among local principals and also assure continued local support and economic benefits for the region.
4. Sustainable use and conservation of natural and cultural resources
In three projects, we will examine in what ways Gotland's natural and cultural resources bring out issues of socio-economic, cultural, and ecological sustainability. Our ambition is to explore the interwoven ecological, social, and discursive processes through which nature and culture are made available as resources for conservation and/or exploitation explicitly linked to specific Gotlandic environments and activities: the forest, recreational fishing, and harbours. For each environment, three key questions are posed that all relate to visits, and interact with the values that are represented by the environments and their resources, how these are managed, and how sustainability is expressed in actual use and conservation efforts.
5. Instrumental implications of the cruise berth
The project "Instrumental implications of the cruise berth. Processes, decisions and coordination on the realisation of a sustainable (cruise liner) destination" will examine how new businesses emerge, are organised, coordinated and create new markets in an interplay between political visions, local practices and technological prerequisites. The cruise berth in Visby is visualised as a concrete example of the organisation of a new market that involves complex decision-making processes and a typical hybrid problem on this (post) modern society, where the global and the local, the human and the technical constantly interact.