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Exchange and Change in Northern Norway: On Reciprocity in Nature-Based Tourism


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This article explores the reciprocal relationship between nature-based tourism entrepreneurs and locals outside the tourism industry in a small community in Northern Norway. In this article I argue that we need to recognize the norms of reciprocal behavior and how these norms play a vital part within nature-based tourism—as it does outside the industry. As business owners are both confirming and violating these norms they contribute to a constant negotiation of acceptable reciprocal behavior. Two contrasting cases show how tourism entrepreneurs can incorporate reciprocity into their business strategy, either conforming to or violating the norms. Social sanctions will potentially have a great impact for a company as it might affect agreements and cooperation with locals. The potential reward in the form of access to private property is equally important as it may be beneficial for the ones conforming to the norms. The analytical part of this article is anchored in Marshal Sahlins' Stone Age Economics. The data collection in this research are based on participant observation through internship in several tourism companies. This includes formal and informal interviews.
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Document Type: Research Article

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