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Surviving and Thriving in Southern Dalarna, Sweden: Pandemic Stories from a Food Network
Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies. (CeTLeR)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8134-5999
Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Tourism Studies. (CeTLeR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1225-2059
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this study, we present data from a study exploring local food entrepreneurs understanding of the impacts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The study took place in the Dalarna province, one of Sweden's most important tourism regions. Earlier studies from this area identified an emerging local food network that has become an integral part of the Southern part of the Dalarna province's (contested) touristic landscape. The established network gained traction in 2006 with a special event organised as a "Harvest Party" (Sk├Ârdefest in Swedish) (Scott & Pashkevich, 2019).As research has shown, food is no longer merely a support function that facilitates tourism but has become a significant attraction. This rise in demand for food experiences in tourism is part of a broader societal and cultural narrative where food (for many) is no longer merely sustenance but a vital leisure pursuit (Scott and Duncan, 2020). Importantly, we situate the production and consumption of food as contested spaces where individual and collective identities are represented and re-represented through often diverging ethics and morals. One of the conclusions based on our previous investigations of local food entrepreneurs' motives to become part of the was that the food festival was a way to mobilise local inhabitants and enhance the sense of solidarity both among the villagers and those involved in the broader agricultural sector.Our follow-up study's preliminary results show that the summer season of 2020 has revealed unexpected but exciting impacts of the pandemic. The 2020 "Harvest Party" was more successful than ever, returning a year-on-year increase in turnover and visitors of over 40%. The event organisers proudly reported that they had adapted appropriate practices regarding pandemic, and restrictions were rigorously adhered to, including adherence to social distancing. Many producers claimed that conditions caused by the pandemic influenced the core of the local food experience. Furthermore, visitors encounters and interactions with regional food culture were noticeably different.The circumstances of this year's event, taking place during a pandemic, resulted in new knowledge that members openly shared. This open sharing has facilitated future collaborative opportunities, including a discussion to prolong the season for the first time. By sharing knowledge and experiences, members collectively realise that the event is attractive to local folk and second homeowners and urban visitors interested in the place(s) in which the members live and work. In moving their focus outside the 'local', they recognise (from bottom-up) opportunities for tourist-driven development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021.
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-38228OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-38228DiVA, id: diva2:1597151
Conference
Regional Studies Association "Regions in Recovery Building Sustainable Futures - Global E-Festival", Online 2-18 June 2021
Available from: 2021-09-24 Created: 2021-09-24 Last updated: 2023-04-14Bibliographically approved

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https://www.regionalstudies.org/events/rinr2021/

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Pashkevich, AlbinaScott, David

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
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Output format
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