Turism i en globaliserad värld : leder coronapandemin och klimatkrisen till ökad innovation inom turistindustrin?
Sammanfattning: For a long time, the tourism industry has had a high growth rate. This depends, amongst other things, on globalization, increased prosperity and increased leisure time. Nowadays, more and more people across the world has the possibility to travel and explore new places, which has resulted in continuous growth for the industry. Besides the positive aspects that tourism is contributing to, the growing mobility implies a huge impact on the climate. The industry’s carbon emissions are especially a contributing factor to climate change, and the continuous growth is leading to higher unsustainability. When the corona pandemic hit, it paralyzed the global tourism industry, and in Sweden the industry has been amongst the most affected. The whole industry is expected to lose huge amounts of money, and tens of millions of jobs are threatened. However, the corona pandemic could also be perceived as an opportunity to reset and reconstruct the tourism industry in a more sustainable way. Many of the lessons learned from the pandemic, could also be implemented to handle the climate crisis. Instead of going back to the old strategies that existed before the corona crisis, this could be a moment to reconsider how the industry could convert itself into carbon neutrality. Innovation capability is important for the industry’s recovery from the crisis, and that is why we wanted to investigate whether the tourism industry can benefit from the corona crisis, by creating innovation and converting itself to enable a more sustainable tourism. In order to answer the aim of the study, we conducted a mixed methods research, where we interviewed eight different travel companies in Sweden, whilst also conducting a survey to find out how Swedes travel patterns had changed as a response to both the climate crisis and the pandemic. In the study, approximately half of the respondents stated that they had changed their way of travelling because of the climate crisis, whilst a big majority indicated that they had changed their travel pattern because of the pandemic. On the other hand, half of the respondents stated that they will return to the same travel habits as before the pandemic. Our results also indicate that companies in the tourism industry has a high capability to innovate. Many of the companies in the study described that innovation is a way to survive the corona pandemic, while others instead are biding their time and waits until the crisis is over. According to the results of the study, companies must create innovation in order to enable increased sustainability, but the work that is being done under the pandemic is mainly being concentrated towards the survival of the company, instead of towards increased sustainability. The sustainable development is driven by both the companies themselves and by market demand, but clear guidelines from authorities does also play an important part in the adaption. The results from the study also indicate that even if there has been a lively climate debate, consumers are still more focused on low prices rather than on more sustainable options, which implies that there is a need for government intervention, since the free market cannot adapt towards sustainability by itself. However, there is still hope that the pandemic will lead to that tourism is changing in a more sustainable way, while others think that the tourism will continue as usual, or even rise more than before.
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