Destination development in Ostrobothnia: great expectations of less involvement

Kajsa G. Åberg, Kristina Svels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-actor involvement and cooperation are emphasized elements of destination development. Whereas prior research has addressed challenges involved in creating inclusive structures and trust through bottom-up approaches, this paper’s focus is on the less explored attitude of acceptance of a top-down structure. The case study of Ostrobothnia in Finland shows a regional destination organization that went from broad involvement to less inclusiveness and transparency. Through interviews with public and private stakeholders, it was found that the formal exclusion was accepted by all actors, even those who were excluded, based on their common high expectations of enhanced effectiveness of the new organization. Building on institutional theory and inclusiveness, it is suggested that the long-lasting formal collaboration had created the trust needed among the stakeholders for a new, lean management to replace the old. However, lasting formal collaboration may also lead to development of informal networks that hinder further interaction. Any formal collaboration or partnership between the public and private sectors therefore needs to acknowledge the local socio-political context to overcome established social hierarchies and open up for new influences. Co-determination should be held as a potential solution rather than an imposed structure, as it depends on expectations and local conditions.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1–17
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Cite this