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Lapland's Airports: Facilitating the Development of International Tourism in a Peripheral Region

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Using a case study on Lapland in Finland, this paper explores the way in which airports facilitate the development of international tourism in a peripheral region. The case study demonstrates how Lapland's airports act as spheres of influence for the development of tourism and support the competitive advantage of their region. Lapland's airports facilitated the movement of 206,731 international passengers in 2005, mainly from Great Britain and France and on aircraft operated by international charter carriers. It is estimated that airport-related international tourism contributed 36 million Euros in direct income to the economy of Lapland in 2005. Demand for airport infrastructure and services is concentrated in the winter months and in order to meet demand at peak times, some of Lapland's airports have undertaken major development projects that have been partly financed by regional and European development agencies. Encouraging demand for airport-related international tourism outside of winter is a focus for Lapland's airports. However, the sparse and fragmented nature of demand for tourism outside of winter acts as a major constraint to their ability to attract direct international services.
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Keywords: Lapland; airports; international tourism development; peripherality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Molde University College, Norway

Publication date: 01 April 2008

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