Title: Innovation and entrepreneurship in Swedish Lapland

Authors: Horacio U. Palomino

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 15500, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland

Abstract: This paper explores how tourism has been embraced as an entrepreneurial activity by an indigenous group in Lapland, Sweden. Since 1996, the Laponia area, a national park in Lapland province, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site and, consequently, a growing amount of tourists has visited the region. The study examines whether the indigenous people of Sweden, the Sami, perceive tourism as a viable activity and as a new venture to support their economy and cultural welfare. The findings suggest that tourism entrepreneurship can complement the cultural group's existing livelihood strategies. In addition, indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship aims mainly at improving the indigenous quality of life, preserving their cultural heritage, nature included, and, ultimately, supporting the survival of the cultural group.

Keywords: indigenous tourism; indigenous innovation; livelihood strategies; indigenous entrepreneurship; sociocultural-ecological systems; Sami; Laponia; Sweden; Swedish Lapland; indigenous groups; national parks; World Heritage sites; UNESCO; UN; United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization; indigenous peoples; viable activities; new ventures; economy; cultural welfare; quality of life; cultural heritage; nature; anthropology; tourist industry; tourists.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2012.046092

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2012 Vol.2 No.1, pp.1 - 15

Available online: 27 Mar 2012 *

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