Resilience and vulnerability in the tourism industry during a pandemic. A comparative study between Finland and Sweden on different geographical scales

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper

Författare: Malin Skutnabba; [2021-09-14]

Nyckelord: Covid-19; tourism; resilience; vulnerability; crisis management;

Sammanfattning: In 2020 the Covid-19 virus spread rapidly and became a global pandemic. This had a severeimpact on the tourism industry since travel was halted due to restrictions imposed to stop thepandemic. This makes it an essential geographical problem since tourism is about the movementof people in different environments. This study examines how tourism has been impacted inFinland and in Sweden by doing a comparative analysis. This because they are neighbouringcountries who have had different strategies when it comes to managing Covid-19. The study alsoinvestigates how tourism in larger cities have been impacted compared to smaller cities. This willbe done by performing interviews with people working in this industry as well as analysingrelevant governmental reports. Due to the huge gap of knowledge surrounding the pandemic thisthesis provides relevant issues to be studied.The results show that Sweden and Finland have been similarly affected by the pandemic with asharp decline in overnight stays, almost no foreign tourists and businesses struggling to survive.Although the results show that Finland’s harsher strategy against the virus have kept the Covid-19numbers relatively low, but instead have made the businesses in the tourism industry suffer moredue to politics making it more difficult for them to seek aid. The results also show that the smallercities have not suffered as much thanks to domestic tourists, with some businesses having theirbest year yet. However this likely only means the smaller cities are not winners but only lesslosers. Many businesses have been very creative in adapting their operations to the restrictions ofthe pandemic; however many are worried about the future and if the pandemic continues forlonger. Although many businesses have managed to survive and proven to not be completelyvulnerable, resilience is still something the industry needs to develop. In preparation for futurecrises businesses could improve cooperation with other businesses and organizations, build aneconomic buffer, as well as improve sustainability to become more resilient.

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