An Evolutionary Economic Geography Perspective on Tourism Development in a Remote Ski Resort: The Case of Tarnaby/Hemavan in the Swedish Mountains

  • Dieter K. MüllerEmail author
Part of the Geographies of Tourism and Global Change book series (GTGC)


Inspired by Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG), this chapter examines tourism development in a remote mountain resort in northern Sweden. The destination Tärnaby/Hemavan is characterized by its remote location, limited accessibility and small population. Tourism is based on alpine skiing and multiple attempts have been made over the past decades to develop the destination. The entry of a large external tourism enterprise raised expectations for a greater variety of tourism products at offer, but it turned out that a major interest of the enterprise was to increase returns on investments from alpine lift infrastructure, creating frustration and antagonism among small-scale local stakeholders. The chapter demonstrates that EEG with its concepts of path dependence, as well as the role of exogenous versus endogenous forces in new path creation, is a useful lens for understanding how remote resort destinations evolve and what sorts of conflicts may emerge as part of this process. It is also shown that the remote spatial context characterised by issues around distance decay, scale of development, and dependence on external factors imposes certain constraints on destination development and governance that may not be experienced in resorts further south or closer to urban centres.


Evolutionary economic geography Remote tourism development Ski resort Path dependence Destination governance Sweden 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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