Second Home Tourism: The Root to Displacement in Sweden? Doctoral dissertation by Roger Marjavaara, Umeå University, Sweden.

I’ve recently been reading about entertainment tourism, heritage tourism, and second home tourism.

With regard to the latter topic, I’ve come across an interesting 2008 doctoral dissertation entitled:

Second Home Tourism: The Root to Displacement in Sweden?

The dissertation is by Roger Marjavaara at the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Umeå University, Sweden.

Two excerpts read:

Purpose of the thesis (p. 3)

The aim of this thesis is to reveal any second home induced displacement of permanent residents in Sweden. The point of departure is the discussion concerning the future possibilities for permanent residents in areas characterised by high demand for second homes. Can it be determined that permanent residents are subject to an involuntary out-migration due to a diminishing supply of dwellings and an increased cost of living? The focus is on the permanent residents (or the potentially displaced) who live or have lived in attractive second home locations and their reasons for leaving the area.


How does Sweden compare to other counties? (p. 46)

Can any of the lessons drawn from this thesis be applied to other locations throughout the world, or are the results unique to the Swedish context? In the United Kingdom, France, Spain, the United States, Canada or other Western countries, the situation differs in many ways compared to Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. Firstly, owning a second home is not considered to be an elite phenomenon in Sweden, or in Scandinavia. The numbers of second homes compared to the population volume shows that this is a national movement rather than an elite phenomenon. Of course, this is mainly due to the low population numbers combined with lots of space, making access to rural areas for second home purposes common and affordable.


Additional studies

I found the references to population density, as a relevant variable with regard to second home tourism, of interest.

A related study of interest, published in 2015 by the Finnish Environment Institute, is entitled:

Second home tourism in Finland: Perceptions of citizens and municipalities on the state and development of second home tourism

As well, a December 2017 article by Lars Larsson and Dieter K. Müller is entitled:

Coping with second home tourism: responses and strategies of private and public service providers in western Sweden

An excerpt reads:

Private and public sector service providers adopt and develop coping strategies for business development and service delivery during the summer months and the high tourism season. Arguably, strategies adopted from either a rejection or an integration perspective would require other resources and positions to act from. Legislative bodies at the national level have a mandate to influence taxation, voting rights, spatial planning legislation, etc., whereas municipal actors can adopt strategies for hindering or promoting second home owners through spatial planning practices or the provision of public services. Influencing these bodies would require political activism from actors coping with second home owners in the region, which is one potential action within a coping framework. There are no signs at all of this approach in this study, however. Hence, it can be concluded that true integration requires action on not only a local level but also a national one. For this to happen, however, it would require a national interest in rural issues and a re-resourcing of the countryside (Overvåg, 2010).



1 reply
  1. Mandi Lea Abrahams
    Mandi Lea Abrahams says:

    Hi from Wales, thank you for putting up the link to this thesis. Every so often, the pressure from second homes in rural Wales (and other rural locations within the UK) becomes too much. The Covid situation with its concomitant ‘staycation’, and the rush to move out of the cities, is producing such a pressure point. How to rebalance our communities without seeming to be unwelcoming? How to create economic structures which mean that non-residents are making a contribution and not just using the place as a playground? We are thinking hard about these questions in Wales right now.


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