Sustainable urbanization? Norwegian cabin culture in transition
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change. 2010, 8 (3), 172-182. 10.1080/14766825.2010.510910
In this article, we explore a cultural change which has made the desire to live close to nature from a core tenet of Norwegian culture to an unsustainable threat to nature. During the last two decades, Norwegian cabin tourism has moved from ‘hard’ forms (few, prolonged stays, strong identification with the site) of ecotourism to ‘softer’ ones (shorter, more frequent stays, commercialisation of the site). These changes, we argue, have led to a situation in which the image of an ideal cabin which echoes hard ecotourism is perpetuated within new, softer practices. Unfortunately, this new kind of nature tourism, which is characterised by many short stays of many uncoordinated visitors spread over preferably ‘pristine’ nature, is inherently unsustainable. As an alternative, we propose more cautious transitions to more coordinated and ‘denser’ forms of tourism, which are exemplified in two cases.