The Orange Wave : How the practice of place marketing is utilized by the rural municipality of Hagfors in order to attract new inhabitants from the Netherlands
They leave everything behind in the Netherlands;friends, family, jobs and careers in order to start a new life in what theycall the land of opportunities, namely Sweden. Here, in the county ofVärmland in a little, rural town named Hagfors they see a chance to a brighterfuture and the possibility of accomplishing a better quality of life. They wantto buy houses, start companies and explore a new way of life in this land ofpromises. While people are migrating from the Netherlands, inhabitants ofHagfors are moving out to big, urban cities that can offer more possibilities.This is the reality for many rural areas like Hagfors, they lose populationthrough out-migration. Despite the negative population trend, the municipalityregains some of its lost inhabitants through the international migration fromlarge Dutch cities. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the practiceof place marketing has been used by Hagfors municipality in order to attractnew inhabitants from the Netherlands. Which place marketingstrategies have been utilized by Hagfors, how can the effect of theseapproaches be measured and how is the Hagfors brand perceived by the Dutch immigrants?These are the research questions that have been answered through qualitativeinterviews with municipal employees and Dutch immigrants. The results implythat Hagfors have marketed themselves through the internet and the EmigrationExpo in Utrecht but these strategies have not had any effect on the immigrants’motives for moving to the area. Instead of actively tryingto receive more immigrants to the area Hagfors municipality should invest timeand money on the Dutchmen who are already living in the area.The conclusion that Hagfors has not developed a brand platform has preventedthe Dutch immigrants from creating a uniform image of the brand.
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