1. Introduction.

Tourism is the worlds largest and  fastest  growing  industry.  In  recent
years there have been increases in international tourism for the purpose of
experiencing another culture. There  is  a  wide-spread  opinion  that  the
economic impact  of  tourism  is  always  positive  while  the  social  and
environmental impact is always  negative.  Indeed,  increasing  incomes  to
regions due to tourists are easy to see as well  as  numerous  host-tourist
conflicts and destruction of the environment and local  cultures.  However,
tourism can have both positive  and  negative  outcomes  for  residents  in
communities when sharing and preserving their culture and nature  could  be
seen as conflicting goals. (Besculides, Lee, McCormick, 2002:303)  In  this
paper I will consider impacts of tourism  with  reference  to  the  Lofoten
Islands. This is a popular tourist destination in Northern Norway. The area
is unique because of  its  nature  and  variety  of  sea  activities,  e.g.
fishing, boat trips,  sailing  etc.  It  is  also  known  in  Norway  as  a
traditional fishing community, where the  fishing  industry  dominates  the
economy and the social life of the  local  people.  Today  those  resources
which used to be source of living for the local community have become  very
attractive for tourists. It is a challenge  to  get  most  profits  of  the
situation and avoid possible conflicts.

2. Economic impacts of tourism

According to recent statistics, tourism provides 10 percent of the  worlds
income  and  employs  almost   one   tenth   of   the   worlds   workforce
(www.investigate.html). By the year 2010 these  numbers  will  double.  All
considered, tourisms actual and potential economic impact  is  astounding.
Many people emphasise positive aspects of tourism as a  source  of  foreign
exchange, a way to balance foreign trade, an industry without  chimney  
in short, manna from heaven.(L.van den Berghe, source  unknown)  But  there
are also negative sides of tourisms economic boom for local communities:
Economic impacts to the local community depend on how much of  the  incomes
generated by tourists go to the host  communities.  In  most  all-inclusive
package tours more than 80 percent of travellers fees go to the  airlines,
hotels and other international companies,  not  to  local  businessmen  and
workers (www.ecotourism.org).
Large hotel chain restaurants often import food to satisfy foreign visitors
and rarely employ local staff for senior management  positions,  preventing
local farmers and workers from reaping the benefit of their presence.
Resorts and hotels often over-consume  natural  resources  like  water  and
power, forcing utility prices up and causing blackouts and water  shortages
for locals.
Many tourists never leave the hotel grounds or cruise  ship,  reducing  the
possibility of tourist income for local  businesses.  Rug  sack  tourists
have little effect on host communities as they consume very  little  during
the trip.
Faced with  limited  economic  prospects,  locals  lose  the  incentive  to
preserve and conserve their natural and cultural resources.
Sometimes the costs  connected  with  tourism  overcome  the  incomes  that
tourists generate. For example, in all-inclusive packages, as I have  said,
most  of  the  expenditures  go  to  the   airlines,   hotel   chains   and
touroperators, while the local communities have to work with pollution  and
destruction in their region caused by tourists.  As a result,  it  costs  a
lot for the local communities to  preserve  the  nature  and  the  cultural
monuments in the region while a good deal of incomes flow out of the  host-
With reference to the Lofoten Islands  the  question  is  how  the  fishing
society can get the most of the tourism industry,  and  whether  the  local
people can get positive economic effects out of the developing  tourism  in
their region.
Here is a figure showing relationship between tourism and  local  community
based on economic impacts.
|                         |                                          |
|                         |How much income does tourism give to the  |
|                         |local community?                          |
|How much resource does   |                    |                     |
|tourism use in the area? |A lot of            |Little               |
|                         |                    |                     |
|A lot of                 |Acceptable tourism  |Undesirable tourism  |
|                         |                    |                     |
|Little                   |Desirable tourism   |Invisible tourism  |

  Fig.1  A general model of the local communities opinion about tourism
                               Rnningen 1996
    Kilde: Kulturturisme. Lofoten som reiselivsattraksjon. Hovedfag.PDF,

The figure shows 4 types of economic  impacts  of  tourism,  based  on  the
coming incomes and the use of resources. No community  would  want  tourism
that uses a lot of resources in the area but leaves  little  money  to  the
local population. Such tourism can be called undesirable.  Communities  can
put up with tourism that gives tem a lot of incomes but also uses a lot  of
resources. It is the so-called acceptable tourism. In case when the use  of
resources is little and the incomes to the  region  are  also  little,  the
effect of tourism is almost not seen. This  is  the  so-called  invisible
tourism. So the economic impact will be considered as positive even if  the
resources are used to great extent, in case if tourism gives large  incomes
to the local people as a result. Hovland (source unknown) divided  economic
impacts of tourism into  direct  and  indirect.  Direct  effects  are  most
visible and easy to measure. These are contacts between a visitor and local
actors, such as the tourist industry, other  industries,  municipality  and
other  local  actors.  Indirect  effects  of  tourism  appear  when   local
businesses, population, municipalities and other actors are  influenced  by
tourism through other actors. I shall now discuss these  relations  between
tourism and fishery industry on the Lofoten Islands. As I  have  emphasised
Lofoten is an international  destination  with  coast  life  culture  as  a
primary tourism resource. From1960 there  have  been  problems  in  fishing
industry  and  the  number  of  employees  has  decreased.  So   increasing
development  of  tourism  compensates  decreasing  development  of  fishery
industry. If we take direct impacts of tourism, they  are  following  here:
people have a possibility to get jobs  in  tourism  industry  and  tourists
spend lots of money in local-owned restaurants,  hotels,  museums.  Tourism
industry uses some resources that are not  used  by  fishermen  today.  Old
fishing houses-rorbuer[1]- may have disappeared from the  local  landscapes
if they were not used today as hotels. Here are some numbers  to  show  the
development of tourism in the region. In 1964 there were just 200  beds  in
local hotels and guesthouses and 150 beds in rorbuer in the whole  Lofoten.
In 1997 there were about 1360 beds just in Vgan district. The total amount
of overnight stays in Lofoten has increased from 25000 in 1965 to 230000 in
1997. (Puijk 1996, SSB 1997) As we can see there is a flow  of  incomes  to
the region and this is a direct economic impact of tourism.
Still there are negative economic impacts of  tourism  as  well  caused  by
common resources for tourism and fishery industries on the Lofoten islands.
Thats why in spite of  co-existing  side  by  side  these  two  industries
compete with each other. Many fishermen  in  Lofoten  think  that  tourists
prevent successful development of the fishing industry as before. First  of
all, the problem is common  area.  The  number  of  quays  in  the  fishing
villages is limited. And what was used by fishing boats is now to be shared
with tourists. Fishermen are afraid that tourism  organisations  will  take
over a lot of fishing bays, buildings, even boats. Here is an opinion of  a
local  fisherman  written  in  a  local  newspaper  Lofotposten  (9/2-98)
Svolvr bay is reserved for guestboats. There is almost  no  harbour  left
for local people to place their boats or build a  warehouse.  This  effect
can be considered as indirect. Tourism organisations in Lofoten  trying  to
get more benefits from tourists, interfere into the  fishing  industry  and
force them some changes.
The same concerns the fish itself.  Many tourists come to Lofoten to  fish.
And at this moment there are  no  fishing  quotes  for  tourists.  So  what
happens is that people come, fish freely and actively, make  fish  filets,
freeze them, take them with them to Europe without any permission that  are
required from the local fishermen. Tourists can in fact take with  them  up
to 200 kg fish in the fridge, sell it later, come  back  and  fish  again.
(www.nhh.no/geo/prosjekt) Thus, tourists decrease the  fishermens  incomes
in a direct way.  So we see how  the  tourism  can  ehave  direct  negative
effects on the  fishing  industry,  decreasing  their  resources.  Although
tourists leave money in the  region  as  well,  this  effect  becomes  less
visible because the local people see first of all decrease  of  their  main
Here is another example of indirect economic impact. Tourism  organisations
often want to change the traditional way of fishing by the local  fishermen
so that coming tourists would consider their work to  be  more  esthetical.
For example, fishing wastes have always been thrown back into the sea.  Now
suddenly there are tourists to think  about,  and  they  find  the  fishing
wastes smell bad. Thats why some tourist organisations ask  the  fishermen
to install dump systems in order to clean the harbours. This  brings  extra
costs for the community.
The tourism industry on the Lofoten Islands makes use of the resources to a
great extent. The incomes the local community gets are big enough but  they
come partly at the cost of fishing incomes. There  is  a  certain  lack  of
regulations about  the  use  of  common  resources.  Obviously,  to  escape
conflicts the tourism industry should not take over the most important  for
the fishermen areas. There are surely lots of areas not  suitable  for  the
fishing industry (due to low amount  of  fish  or  small  capacity  of  the
harbour) but which would suit tourists.  Still,  the  problem  lies  deeper
because of social conflicts in the area.

3. Social and environmental impacts of tourism.

Socially tourism has a great influence on the host societies.  Tourism  can
be both a source of international amity,  peace  and  understanding  and  a
destroyer and corrupter of indigenous  cultures,  a  source  of  ecological
destruction, an assault of  peoples  privacy,  dignity  and  authenticity.
(L.van den Berghe, source unknown)
Here are possible positive  effects  of  tourism,  according  to  Reisinger
(source unknown)
    . Developing positive attitudes towards each other
    . Learning about each others culture and customs
    . Reducing negative perceptions and stereotypes
    . Developing friendships
    . Developing pride, appreciation, understanding, respect and  tolerance
      for each others culture
    . Increasing self-esteem of hosts and tourists
    . Psychological satisfaction with interaction

So, social contacts between tourists and local people may result in  mutual
appreciation, understanding, tolerance, awareness, learning, family bonding
respect, and liking. Residents are educated about the outside world without
leaving their homes, while  their  visitors  significantly  learn  about  a
distinctive culture.  Besides, if local culture is the base for  attracting
tourists  to  the  region,  it  helps  to  preserve  the  local  tradition,
handicrafts which maybe were  on  the  link  of  the  extinction.  Benefits
include also reciprocity, community pride, and a stronger sense  of  ethnic
On the other side  tourism  can  increase  tension,  hostility,  suspicion.
Claims of tourism as a vital force for peace are exaggerated. Indeed  there
is  little  evidence  that  tourism   is   drawing   the   world   together
(Robinson,1999:22). While the tourist is engaged in leisure,  the  host  is
engaged in work. While the tourists arrive with loads of expectations, many
of the local stakeholders have no idea of what to expect.
Negative effects can be  the  following,  according  to  Reisinger  (source
    . Developing negative attitudes towards each other
    . Tension, hostility, suspicion and misunderstanding
    . Clashes of values
    . Difficulties in forming friendships
    . Feeling of inferiority and superiority
    . Communication problems
    . Ethnocentrism
    . Culture shock
    . Dissatisfaction with mutual interaction.

Tourism has the power to affect cultural change. Successful development  of
a resource can lead to numerous negative impacts.  Among  these  are  over-
development, assimilation, conflict and  artificial  reconstruction.  While
presenting a culture to tourists may help preserve the culture, it can also
dilute or even destroy it. Tourism often leads to  non-authentic  forms  of
cultural traditions, an example being festivals or dances  staged  entirely
for  tourists,  or  production  of  handicraft  clearly  distinctive   from
traditional ones.  We can take example of saami culture.  Saami  duodji  is
sold both with and without a quality  mark.  A  lot  of  things  known  and
promoted as saami things  is  just  a  trash,  produced  far  from  saami
regions. Some tourist organisations present saami people as drunkards,  out
of their mind, dirty and uneducated. The point is to promote  a  region  so
that it would both give incomes and create respect for  the  local  culture
(Gustavsen, 1998).
When it comes to ecology, it is again easier to see  negative  impact  than
positive. Tourism often grows into  masstourism.  It  leads  to  the  over-
consumption,  pollution  and  lack  of  resources.  But  in  some   regions
alternative industries are  even  more  harmful  to  the  environment  than
tourism industry. Nature will manage fine without  tourists,  but  in  many
places tourism is the only source of  income  or  the  friendliest  to  the
environment. It is at least  better  than  chopping  down  the  forests  or
destroying the corral reefs. (Munch-Petersen,1998 (from lecturenotes))
On the Lofoten Islands the conflict between  the  host  community  and  the
tourists is more of  cultural  origin,  e.g.  in  Svolvr  or  Vgan.   The
fishermen can see that one harbour after another is being reconstructed for
a caf, a rorbucamp, a quay hotel. For the fishermen it  is  an  expression
that their traditional industry is getting less and less  important.   Even
if it does not happen at the cost of the fishery industry it  is  mostly  a
psychological problem. The local people  want  to  behold  their  identity,
their   traditional   way   of    work.     Here    are    some    opinions
I am a fisherman and I dont wish to become any  guide  or  anything  like
that, I am a fisherman, and I appreciate the freedom  this  way  of  life
means. Tourists seek some exotic experiences when they  come  to  Lofoten;
the fishermen get perplexed and confused thinking about it.  There  is  so
much blood and fishing wastes here that tourists cant bear. Ladies in fine
clothes come here and watch how we cut the head of the fish. They think  we
are some barbarians! These are cultural conflicts that can be observed  on
Lofoten. Though some people insist there are no conflicts.  They  mean  the
tourism industry uses resources  that  the  fishermen  dont  get  use  of.
Tourism employs mostly women when fishery involves men.
Non-authentic forms of the local cultural monuments can be  found  here  as
well. On the one side tourism helps to preserve old rorbuer. On  the  other
side they  become  modernised  inside,  furnished  with  modern  furniture,
supplied  with  electricity,  water,  TV  etc.   Thus   they   lose   their
In spite of all the negative changes in the local communities  tourism  has
positive social and cultural impact as well. Changes are inevitable; it  is
a very complicated matter to preserve things as they used to be. In Lofoten
tourists help to preserve the harbours, rorbuer, old boats.  If not tourism
the coastal landscape could include only modern buildings and  boats.  Many
museums have been opened showing the local traditions of  fishing.  Growing
interest in this culture makes the local people proud of their way of life.

If we take ecological impacts of tourism in the Lofoten region,  we  should
bare in mind that the fishing industry is no  100  percent  environmentally
friendly either. So it is a question which industry  brings  more  negative
effects to the environment. Tourists coming to Lofoten  are  not  satisfied
with just enjoying the nature; there are many visitors who want to fish  as
well. The difference is maybe that tourists stay in the  region  for  short
periods and their welfare does not depend on the amount of fish they catch.
They fish for pleasure and  often  let  the  fish  go.  Still,  as  I  have
mentioned above there are no regulations or fishing quotes for tourists and
if masstourism will develop  on  the  Lofoten  Islands  it  will  become  a
threaten to the fish.
From ecological  point  of  view  tourism  is  often  more  acceptable  and
preferable  than  traditional  production,   as   it   is   environmentally
friendlier. The problem is that it is not easy to change traditional way of
life of the local communities. It often creates pseudo conflicts.

4. Conclusion.

 We have shown that the impact of tourism on local communities can be  both
positive  and  negative,  whether  it  comes   to   economic,   social   or
environmental effects. All depends on to which extent tourism is  developed
in a particular region. Every region has its bearing capacity, that  is  to
say the limit of the outcoming  influence  that  does  not  harm  the  host
community.  If we overcome that limit  negative  impacts  of  tourism  will
Here is a figure which shows the dynamics  between  people,  resources  and
tourism in successful tourism: each  makes  positive  contribution  to  the
Fig.2  The ecotourism paradigm. Source: Page and Dowling (2002:27)

      Integrated sustainable resource use
      Environmental advocacy



                           revenues for


All  the  three  elements  in  this  model  are  in  co-interaction.  Local
communities use the natural resources but they also protect them.  Tourists
come to enjoy the nature and get knowledge about  it,  but  they  also  can
pollute and destroy it, or on the other side help to protect it by  drawing
attention to unique natural resources in the area. Local communities affect
tourists by giving them  knowledge  of  their  culture  and  way  of  life.
Tourists impact on the local populations can be economic (giving  incomes,
using resources  etc)  and  sociocultural  (e.g.changing  traditions)  When
developing a new tourist destination we should always bare in mind this co-
In any case local communities should be empowered to sayno to  undesirable
tourism. In order to decrease negative effects on  local  societies  we  can
check the following moments when arranging tourism activity in a  region  or
taking part in it: (Fennell,1999(from lecture notes))
    . Are local people involved in tourism industry as employees?
    . Does the organisation cooperate with the local businesses?
    . Is it respectful attitude to the local culture?
    . Is there respect to the nature and how is it protected?
    . How much economic benefit the local population get from tourism?
    . Are tour  operators  concerned  about  ecological  hotels,  transport,

We can see it is a great  challenge  to  make  profitable  business  running
tourism in an area without affecting negatively the  local  communities.  It
is possible for tourism industry to co-operate  with  other  industries  and
bring benefits to both the tourism organisations and local businesses.   The
first step to achieve it is to understand needs  and  desires  of  both  the
host community and the tourists.

[1] Rorbu (Norwegian)  fishermans shack





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