NS29 Session 19

29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times

21-23 September 2021


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Title: Sustainable tourism in rural landscapes of the Anthropocene

Organisers: Solène Prince and Marianna Strzelecka 

Affiliation: European Tourism Research institute, Mid-Sweden University, Linnaeus University



Rural landscapes are central to the rural tourism experience as they display the idyllic charm of the countryside and its traditions, with their nature relatively unspoiled by the rapid developments of modernity. In light of the Anthropocene, rural spaces around the world are facing new realities, which poses a challenge to current perceptions of rural tourism experiences and development strategies. For instance, rural spaces have become sites for the mass development of renewable energy installations and for the extraction of data from scientists studying global planetary changes. In some cases, they have become sites of climate denial in light of local desires to retain specific livelihoods, and in other cases sites of ecological grief when cherished physical attributes of the landscape have disappeared because of human actions. The Anthropocene is a period of response to planetary change. As humanity deals both psychologically and proactively with the effects of tourism mobilities and climate change, a host of new practices, relations and emotions will unfold and give places new and complex meanings. How are human interventions in the Anthropocene reconfiguring rural landscapes and the activities they once afforded their local populations? How will rural tourism evolve in the Anthropocene as landscapes undergo physical change? How can tourism remain a sustainable alternative for rural development in this context of rapid change? We welcome presentations that make a conceptual or empirical contribution to our understanding of the intersection between rural landscapes and livelihoods, sustainable tourism and planetary changes in the Anthropocene. In this session, we are interested in presentations exploring sustainable rural tourism futures and/or the challenges and possibilities behind feelings of place attachment, eco-grief and anxiety in rural destinations. We also welcome presentations that critically engage with questions surrounding responsible rural mobilities and/or new forms of rural commodification in the Anthropocene.