Platser för rovdjursturism? Vargar, människor och utveckling i Norra Värmland
Sammanfattning: The thesis explores the attitudes towards large carnivores as a resource for tourism in northern Värmland. The purpose is to study the carnivore issue and the problems of carnivore tourism from a geographical perspective in order to illustrate the differences and connections between different approaches to a controversial and a potential rural resource.The empirical material is made up mainly of surveys and newspaper articles. Three actor groups were studied: the local community, tourism entrepreneurs, and visitors to carnivore information centers. The studies were underpinned by a two-pronged theoretical frame of reference, the first based on the concepts of place and landscape, the second on tourism as a concept and social phenomenon.Carnivore tourism constituted only a small part of that published in the media about carnivores, which showed that the tourism-oriented perspective on carnivores has been accorded only minor status in the media.The attitudes of the three actor groups towards carnivores and carnivore tourism differ. Attitudes among the local community were generally less favorable than among tourism entrepreneurs and visitors. The community perspective on carnivores and carnivore tourism may be regarded as a insider perspective strongly dominated by the “life place” perspective, one in which forest-oriented culture and practices enjoy strong status, particularly in the more peripheral parts of the geographical study area. Tourism entrepreneurs, who are an important link between the locals and visitors, generally had more positive attitudes, but the group as such was divided depending on the strength of local connections. Entrepreneurs with strong roots in the community had considerably more negative attitudes and usually saw no potential in carnivores as a resource for tourism. These entrepreneurs can be presumed to represent the life place perspective, while other entrepreneurs may be regarded as representing the “destination place” perspective. Visitors were the group with the most positive attitudes, even as they stood for a distinct outsider perspective. They had a keen interest in nature in general and carnivores in particular. Several factors had significant impact on the attitude towards carnivores and carnivore tourism, in particular the view on the naturalness of the wolf, that is, whether it had been reintroduced or had returned on its own, age, education, whether or not the person was a hunter, experience, and knowledge about large carnivores.
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