New study of Swedish adventure tourism and the sharing economy
The two-year BFUF-funded project ”Digitalisation and visualisation of guide services” was concluded with a workshop on 20 november.
Researchers Mia Larson and Cecilia Cassinger (from Strategic communication) presented and discussed the results with representatives from the tourism and hospitality industry in the cities of Helsingborg, Malmö and Göteborg, as well as students from the international Master's programme in service management specialisation tourism, and researchers in the field of tourism and sharing economy. Kes McCormick from the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University and Szilvia Gyimothy from the Department of Culture and Global Studies at Aalborg University, Campus Copenhagen, each gave a presentation on the conditions of the sharing sconomy in cities. The panel discussion addressed the dark side of the sharing economy and its consequences for the tourism and hospitality industry.
The research project has been a cooperation between researchers and an entrepreneur in the tourism industry, who built up the demo business Aways while the researchers folllowed the process. Aways is a startup business in adventure tourism with the business model to enable users to share services on a digital platform.
The results show that one of the biggest challenges for small businesses within the sharing economy is recruiting users and building a community on the platform. Another key finding from the project is that the tourism and hospitality industry can gain a lot from supporting companies within the sharing economy, but that the sharing economy has now reached the maturity stage and therefore the barriers to entry for tourism startups are higher.