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Promoting hunting tourism in north Sweden: opinions of local hunters

  • Year: 2009
  • Author: Willebrand, T.
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Wildlife Research
  • Journal Number: Vol.55, No.3
  • Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
  • Published Location: Heidelberg, Netherlands
  • Country: Sweden

Hunting tourism can help to diversify local economies in rural areas. In northern Sweden, hunting tourism has the potential to counteract outmigration and unemployment, but may entail ecological and social risks. I used a mail survey of 2,110 hunters in rural northern Sweden to assess attitudes toward hunting tourism. Respondents emphasized the importance of hunting to maintain economical, social, and cultural values in the rural areas. Most hunters estimated that game contributed equal or larger amount of meat to their household than meat bought commercially. Few respondents had first hand experience of hunting tourism and they were divided on their attitude towards promoting hunting tourism. Many (46%) were uncertain about their attitude towards hunting tourism; 36% were positive and 18% were negative. Ethical values on using wildlife in hunting tourism and the attitude towards new hunters coming to hunt influenced attitudes on development of hunting tourism. Hunters that were positive to hunting tourism believed that it would create new jobs. Because hunting in Sweden is highly organized and collective, there are no models of hunting tourism adapted to the hunting culture in northern Sweden. The uncertainty of the potential local benefits from a development of hunting tourism should be placed within a research framework, especially in the northernmost parts where governmental undertakings are large and the state can influence land use.

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