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Review article

Social capital and the life cycle model: The transformation of the destination of Åre

Sara Nordin ; Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Hans Westlund ; KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

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page 259-284

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This article analyzes the development of the Swedish tourism destination of Åre and its transformation from one of many mountain villages into Scandinavia’s leading alpine ski resort. In reference to Butler’s life cycle model, this evolution is analyzed and some historical turning points in Åre’s development identified. The role of social capital is added to the historical analysis, based on the assumption that there is a link between a destination’s development and its ability to reproduce its social capital. The analysis shows that the social capital at the early stage was, to a large extent, built by and around local actors which predominated the village. The transformation to an international ski resort was possible only by the entrance of new actors, increasingly from the national and international arenas. These new actors have largely come to play leading roles in Åre’s development. At the same time, the new actors’ different values and networks have impacted Åre’s social capital.


destination development; life cycle model; networks, social capital, Sweden

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