Exploring the interrelations between sustainable and indigenous tourism : an analysis of two tourism organizations in Sweden and Canada through the lens of sustainability

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Kulturgeografiska institutionen

Abstract: Sustainability in the tourism industry necessitates ongoing development. This thesis investigates the interrelations between indigenous and sustainable tourism in relation to sustainability definitions and specifically examines the contributions of indigenous values and knowledge to sustainability within the tourism industry. Through a qualitative methodology, two case studies were conducted with semi-structured interviews of two tourist organizations in Sweden and Canada, accompanied by a discourse analysis. The results show that the sustainability outcomes of indigenous tourism practices corresponded to sustainability in sustainable tourism and is in many ways aligned with the UNs global framework. Differences were identified in how sustainability was initiated and achieved. Possible improvements in sustainable tourism could be inspired by indigenous tourism. Key themes were connectedness and appreciation of the land and keeping operations localized. In a broader perspective indigenous knowledge could provide complementary approaches to the global framework of sustainable development in tourism which would lead to a more diversified, localized and authenticity-based development. The thesis contributes to the ongoing discourse on sustainable development in the tourism industry and emphasizes the importance of reflecting on the contested concept of sustainability.  

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