chapter  9
18 Pages

Integrated Tourism Development? When Places of the Ordinary Are Transformed to Destinations

These are excerpts of how Andøy and Målselv are presented as destinations. Andøya is presented as ‘the magic island’1 and Målselv as ‘a fresh alpine destination in the Arctic’2 and part of the ‘Snowman area’. But these spectacular and exotic places are also places of the ordinary – where people live their everyday lives. The theme of this chapter is how these worlds are related. Through case studies from Andøy and Målselv I aim to investigate how destination development enters into complex processes of local development. A relational approach to tourism development is outlined to grasp how tourism and community development are interrelated through manifold relations and practices. By performing tourism people encounter the culture of others. At the same time tourism becomes part of culture. As a set of social and cultural practices, tourism is both an expression and an experience of culture (Burns and Novelli 2006; Robinson and Smith 2006). Tourism also implies contested culture. The promotion of culture legitimizes and normalizes parts of local realities. Destinations can be seen as a negotiated reality (Ringer 1998), with different actors bringing in different histories, values and perceptions. Tourism development thus involves complex relations of power and identity. Saarinen (1998; 2004) shows that there are several – and sometimes competing and conflicting – discourses on regions and development. Different actors might have

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conflicting perceptions of landscapes of the north. As the destination of the tourist becomes inseparable from the inhabited landscape of local culture (Ingold 1994), it is urged that a more appropriate tourism development is needed, taking into account the multiple discourses of local development.