Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 274

274       Arctic Yearbook 2014 Arctic (EA) communities. This article aims to paint a picture of Gunnarsbyn, a rural community in northern Sweden where tourism is one of the few industries to be reliant on. This article is a contribution to the emerging studies in tourism research that recognize sustainability science as inherent (Briassoulis 2002; Farrell & Twining-Ward 2004; Miller & Twining-Ward 2005). These studies embrace the concept of sustainable tourism, which seeks to meet the economic, social and environmental needs of both tourists and host communities in a manner that does not compromise future needs (Swarbrooke 1999; Gunn 2002), but call for a more indepth analysis of livelihoods and more hands-on solutions. These studies also emphasize the relevance of common pool resources to tourism, namely those resources “for which exploitation by one user reduces the amount available for others, but for which exclusion of additional users is difficult or impossible” (Ostrom 1990). Tourism activities are often practiced on land that tourist hosts do not hold property rights to and are therefore subject to a dilemma situation where cooperation is needed. Sustainability is therefore viewed as a dynamic process that requires adaptive capacity in resilient social-ecological systems (Berkes, Colding & Folke 2003; Kates et al. 2001). Additionally, this article aims to fill a research gap in sustainability science identified both by Vollan & Ostrom (2010) and Kates et al. (2001), namely to identify context specific conditions that enhance shared long-term benefits. The research question is: how do tourist hosts in Gunnarsbyn perceive their possibilities of producing shared sustainable benefits for their community? In order to answer this question, we need to learn about specific aspects of tourist hosts’ work and in-depth descriptions of their interactions within and outside the community. The sub-research questions are thus: (1) Why are tourist hosts practicing tourism in the manner that they do today?; (2) How do the tourist hosts perceive common sustainability challenges?; (3) What systems of collaborative action are important for meeting common sustainability challenges in the community?; and (4) What are the net benefits of tourism practice for the community? The four sub-sections of the results address each of the subresearch questions. The last sub-section furthermore summarizes the results of applying participatory qualitative system analysis and through these provides an analysis of the shared sustainable benefits of the work done by the tourist hosts. Before presenting the results the following two sections give more insight into the problematics of tourism development in the European Arctic and the methodology of this study. Research Setting Tourism development is significantly different between cultures, climates and ecosystems and conditions are specific for each community. Nevertheless the Arctic areas of Europe (figure 1) share certain conditions. Common challenges are low population density, out-migration, fragile ecosystems and few industries to be economically reliant on (Mikkola 2014). On the other hand, in most EA communities the law of free movement through all territories (s. Allemansrätten) gives individuals and organizations the right to travel through and stay overnight in the nature, including protected areas (SEPA 2009). This makes it possible for tourist hosts to create their attraction without ownership of land.   Work Creates Community