Creativity in the recreational industry. Re-conceptualization of the Creative Class theory in a tourism-dominated rural area

Marie Thulemark, Atle Hauge


The aim of this paper is to analyse the dynamics of development in a small rural region. Sälen in Sweden is a typical ski resort, with vast seasonal fluctuation of people and amenities. Our main analytical tool is Richard Florida’s theory on the Creative Class. This is a somewhat original approach for this type of context. Despite the great impact and controversy the theory of the Creative Class has had in both academia and among policy makers, it has primarily been applied on larger urban areas. The last few decades have seen a clear tendency towards urbanisation; cities and larger urban regions have undergone the most positive development, both in terms of job creation and the number of inhabitants. However, some rural areas have experienced positive development not normally seen in this type of vicinities. A dominating tourism industry is often seen as serving as an engine for overall development. This paper attempts to re-conceptualise the theory of the Creative Class to determine how it can be used to understand development in rural tourism-dominated areas.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413