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Maria Månsson


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A communicative approach to resilience in urban regions


  • Maria Månsson
  • Jörgen Eksell

Summary, in English

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed travel patterns to and in urban regions. Destinations have seen a dramatic shift from overtourism to undertourism. This research explores how the pandemic has reconceptualised the relationship between the urban and rural. In particular this paper discusses the relationship between media narratives and tourism flows, and the implications for resilience in urban regions.

This paper departs from theories of geography of communication (GoC). Media and communication scholars have this far been largely absent from resilience theorising and research (Houston et al., 2015). GoC explores the interconnectedness of media and space and has evolved as a result of the spatial turn (see Warf & Arias, 2009; Adams & Jansson, 2012).

The data consists of interviews with relevant stakeholders (DMO representatives and managers of nature reserves and tourist attractions) and online news media texts on the region Scania, Sweden. The region offers cities such as Malmoe and Lund, small towns and rural landscapes with national parks and reserves.
A paradigmatic analysis of narratives that locate common themes or conceptual manifestations was conducted on the collected data (cf. Polkinghorne 1995). The reason is that narratives turn information and events into something that seems to be naturally occurring and meaningful to those encountering the narratives.

The analysis shows the intimate relation between resilience in places and media narratives, and how the latter transform both conceptions and practices about resilience in places. Rural areas as well as natural reserves are contrived as places of physical distance and therefore attractive for urban dwellers and visitors. These places are constructed as sustainable and safe places even with large numbers of visitors. Accordingly, the GoC-perspective advances an interdisciplinary approach to resilience in tourist places that reveals how the constitution of resilience in urban destinations is moulded by the politics of media and communication practices.

Adams, P. C. & Jansson, A. (2012) Communication Geography: A Bridge Between Disciplines. Communication Theory, 22(3), 299–318.

Houston, J. B., Spialek, m. L., Cox, J., Greenwood, M. M., & First, J. (2015). The Centrality of Communication and Media in Fostering Community Resilience: A Framework for Assessment and Intervention, American Behavioural Scientist, 59(2), 270-283

Lew AA. Tourism planning and place making: place-making or placemaking? Tourism Geographies. 2017;19(3):448-466.

Polkinghorne, D. (1995) Narrative configuration in qualitative analysis. Qualitative studies in education, 8(1), 5- 23.

Warf, B. & Arias, S. (2009). The Reinsertion of space in social sciences and humanities. In B.Warf, & S. Arias (Eds). The spatial turn: interdisciplinary perspectives: 1-10. London: Routledge.


  • Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation






Konferensbidrag: abstract


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Tourism
  • Narratives
  • media
  • space
  • geography of communication
  • Resilience
  • Covid-19

Conference name

Atlas SIG meeting urban tourism

Conference date

2021-06-03 - 2021-06-04

Conference place





  • Resilient destination development in the wake of COVID-19
  • Rethinking urban tourism development: Dealing with sustainability in the age of over-tourism