Mobility, Migration and Seasonal Tourism Employment: Evidence from Swedish Mountain Municipalities

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In recent research it has been shown that a large share of the tourism work force in the Swedish mountain municipalities have their permanent place of residence outside of daily commuting distance from the municipality where they work. In this study, tourism labour mobility and migration to two Swedish mountain municipalities, Åre and Malung, is examined. The principal question addressed is whether temporal tourism labour migration leads to permanent migration of tourism workers or not. The research is based on a longitudinal database material including individual observations between the years 1991–2001. It is shown that the case municipalities have a higher propensity than the rest to employ in‐migrants in tourism. Results also show that relatively few people involved in temporary labour migration to tourism employment in the case municipalities later will permanently migrate to the mountain municipalities but that tourism sector employment is important for the in‐migration of long distance commuters to the case municipalities. The reason for this it is argued is that the motive to seasonally migrate to tourism employment is lifestyle‐related and not meant to be permanent. The seasonality of tourism employment has implications for the local and regional development through tourism.

Keywords: Swedish mountain municipalities; Tourism; labour migration; permanent migration; temporal mobility

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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