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Locals’ and tourists’ sense of place: a case study of a Swiss alpine village


Kianicka, S; Buchecker, M; Hunziker, M; Müller-Böker, Ulrike (2006). Locals’ and tourists’ sense of place: a case study of a Swiss alpine village. Mountain Research and Development, 26(1):55-63.

Abstract

The development of Swiss Alpine landscapes must comply with the needs of different interest groups. We assume that the way people relate to places, and particularly the sense of place they have, is a basis for their needs and aims regarding future landscape development. Conflicts among aims can be better understood if the underlying place relations are known. Therefore, we inductively examined differences between locals' and tourists' sense of place by means of a qualitative interview study in Alvaneu, a Swiss Alpine village. In social science theory, “sense of place” is used as an umbrella concept for manifold people–place relations. The findings reveal that the place characteristics relevant to sense of place are approximately the same for both groups. However, locals and tourists attribute different meanings and significance to these characteristics, and thus have distinct needs regarding landscape development. Consequently, a balance between appropriate economic development desired by locals and the preservation of the cultural characteristics and authenticity sought by tourists must be found when pursuing sustainable landscape development.

Abstract

The development of Swiss Alpine landscapes must comply with the needs of different interest groups. We assume that the way people relate to places, and particularly the sense of place they have, is a basis for their needs and aims regarding future landscape development. Conflicts among aims can be better understood if the underlying place relations are known. Therefore, we inductively examined differences between locals' and tourists' sense of place by means of a qualitative interview study in Alvaneu, a Swiss Alpine village. In social science theory, “sense of place” is used as an umbrella concept for manifold people–place relations. The findings reveal that the place characteristics relevant to sense of place are approximately the same for both groups. However, locals and tourists attribute different meanings and significance to these characteristics, and thus have distinct needs regarding landscape development. Consequently, a balance between appropriate economic development desired by locals and the preservation of the cultural characteristics and authenticity sought by tourists must be found when pursuing sustainable landscape development.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:February 2006
Deposited On:25 Jun 2008 08:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:International Mountain Society
ISSN:0276-4741
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1659/0276-4741(2006)026[0055:LATSOP]2.0.CO;2
Official URL:http://www.mrd-journal.org/index.htm

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