Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 286

286       Arctic Yearbook 2014 It can be concluded from the interviews that the tourist hosts have a high propensity to conditional cooperation and are capable of producing shared sustainable benefits for their community. Each participant is confident in the reciprocity of other tourist hosts in the community and agrees that main dilemmas in their practice involve communication with national level or global actors. Thus, they support the acceptance of a new behavioral theory, that “if enough individuals initially cooperate, they slowly obtain benefits from the [natural resources], and levels of cooperation grow” (Vollan & Ostrom 2010: 924). In the projects that are facing them right now, each of the interviewees are leaders for increased cooperation and increased sustainability of the community, and are slowly changing the acceptance in the rest of the community to manage and maintain the common natural resources locally. This does not mean that they are immune to disturbances like distance to market, lack of infrastructure and service and an aging population. The national level system still makes the rules for their work. This could be interpreted in several ways: 1) rules established by an external authority that “crowd out” the group’s motivation to cooperate (Vollan & Ostrom 2010: 924) and makes them pessimistic about the future of the community; 2) a systematic lock-in that disables the community’s resilience to handle shocks or expand in their work, “My hands are tied to the system that I work within” (Love, participant) or; 3) a system that provides opportunities for their work and cooperation in terms of e.g. financial support for development projects, leasing of land and free access to use land for tourism and own recreation activities. Adding to the complexity of things, the answer is indeed that the national level system provides pathways to all three options. In the future vision deducted from the interviewees’ accounts one thing is clear: sustainable tourism goals cannot be disconnected from the goal of sustaining the community. Thus can tourism function as the empowerment needed to activate drivers for sustainable development of Gunnarsbyn on a local level. Conclusions This study is descriptive of the infrastructural and demographic vulnerability involved in livelihoods and tourism development in European Arctic regions. The main outtake of this study is that tourism is a strategy to cope with geographical and political vulnerability but the problem is that the tourism sector is also vulnerable in itself. The interviewees have confirmed this by emphasizing that both their community and the tourism industry are of low priority in national politics. In order to explain how tourist hosts understand sustainable use of common natural resources in their context, the analysis included accounts of (1) their current practice, as a description of an ongoing practical accomplishment in reaction to both local and global sustainability challenges; (2) the vulnerability involved with tourism practice in this place and; (3) their dependence on common pool resources. It became clear that vulnerability is involved with the entire complex system of their choice of lifestyle and practice. The tourist hosts do not see their situation of sharing common natural resources as a dilemma when communicating with other actors within the community. The dilemma situation is visible when communicating their needs to the larger system. The