Managing Rural Over Tourism to Preserve the Natural Heritage: A Case Study of Torsö, Sweden

Felix Wiest & Valeria Bortoletto

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study focuses on the management of rural over-tourism intending to preserve the natural heritage. Indeed, tourism research has mainly focused on urban hotspots, overlooking the importance of these challenges in the rural context. This research focuses on the case study of Torsö, a small costal village in southern Sweden, where in recent years tourism has become a main attraction. While having been out of the scope of large numbers of visitors, Torsö has now started to experience larger numbers of tourists seeking a quiet place to relax. Taking Torsö as a starting point, this research adopts a mixed-method approach to identify critical elements that might hinder collaboration in Tourism Destination Plans (TDPs). Through eleven in-depth interviews, the first study identified possible gaps in the current academic research and dynamics among Torsö’s stakeholders’ groups. As a result, four mini-theories or hypotheses were developed. The second study tested these four hypotheses through survey methodology. The sample size counted 186 participants. Linear regression models demonstrated a significant (p < 0.01) relationship between the variables of three out of four hypotheses. The first hypothesis confirmed a negative linear correlation between age and the population group of the participants. Both intentions to participate in TDPs and ecological, behavioural intentions showed a positive linear correlation with the independent variable of the stakeholders’ group. The findings of this research provide significant insights for further research and baseline information for implementors of TDPs and local communities in the development of more effective and holistic approaches for improving sustainable tourism management

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages124
SupervisorsSzilvia Gyimothy Mørup-Petersen