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Published: 2024-02-14 Updated: 2024-02-16, 10:26

Conference on Tourism Benefits Reseach About Ageing

NEWS On 19–21 September 2023, Magnus Zingmark participated in a research conference in Östersund to present two projects of which he is a co-author.

Magnus Zingmark is an Associate professor at the Unit of Occupational Therapy at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation at Umeå University. He is also an Arctic Five Fellow since 1 September, 2023. Last fall, Zingmark went to Östersund to participate in "The 31:st Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research 2023" where he presented two research projects that he has co-authored.

Tell us about your participation in the conference

– The conference had a well-attended seminar entitled "Inclusive and accessible nature for a healthy and socially sustainable society". There, I participated as a co-author on two presentations, explains Zingmark. He continues to describe the presentations.

– I gave the first presentation together with my colleague Kristin Godtman Kling. We presented our study "Promoting outdoor recreation for older adults in Sweden - exploring the role of the third sector". In the study, we build on previous research that shows that many older people value spending time outside, but also that it is common to discontinue with activities that were previously important. We highlighted the results which show that actors in the public, voluntary sector and private companies can contribute to creating a wider and more inclusive range of activities.

– The second presentation was given by Marianne Eliassen, researcher at UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. The title of the project is "Creating a sustainable model for older people to engage in outdoor activities – a social innovation in an arctic community in Northern-Norway" and is a project that has been carried out in Vestvågöy municipality on Lofoten. It is about how outdoor activities can be integrated into rehabilitation, with the Arctic contexts taken into account. Another co-author of that presentation, apart from me, is Trude Hartviksen.

Even if it is a bit beside my line of research, it is clear that being able to continue being a tourist and visiting places both close to home and further away can be seen as an important part of active ageing. Here we can really see a need and a potential to produce new knowledge.

Tell us about yourself and your research

Zingmark describes that he combines his employment in Umeå with being responsible for research and development in active and healthy ageing in the municipality of Östersund. He also describes his research.

– I focus on how proactive efforts to promote active and healthy ageing can be implemented in Swedish municipalities. We know that there is a lot of knowledge about the potential benefit of health promotion, prevention and rehabilitation efforts both for the health of individuals and from a socio-economic perspective. I usually say that there is a win-win opportunity within reach if we can translate and utilize the knowledge of proactive efforts in practice. With one foot in a municipal context, I see great opportunities to develop research in a sector where we currently lack research.

What did you think of the conference and what significance did it have for you as a researcher?

It was very rewarding to attend a conference on tourism. Even if it is a bit beside my line of research, it is clear that being able to continue being a tourist and visiting places both close to home and further away can be seen as an important part of active ageing. Here we can really see a need and a potential to produce new knowledge.

What significance did the conference have from an Arctic perspective?

Zingmark expresses that tourism and ageing have a connection to Arctic research if you look at the possibility to access vacation homes in, for example, Västerbotten, where the distances can be long.

– If I see it from an Arctic perspective, we could look at it from a local perspective in Västerbotten, where we know that many people have vacation homes in beautiful places, both close to towns and more inland close to the mountains. What are the possibilities to continue visiting what has been a significant place for a long time if activity restrictions start to emerge? How could supporting initiatives be designed to enable more people to continue visiting their vacation homes?

– The conference really provided inspiration for new research projects with a focus on active ageing in an Arctic context, Zingmark concludes.

About the conference

Nordic Symposium 2023

On 19–21 September 2023, The European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR) at Mid Sweden University, hosted the 31:st Nordic Symposium 2023 on Tourism and Hospitality Research. The theme for 2023 was "Rethinking tourism for a sustainable future".

It is a research conference delivered under the umbrella of The Nordic Society for Tourism and Hospitality Research (NORTHORS). The symposium provides a platform for academic debate and development in the field of tourism and hospitality research in the Nordic countries and in a wider European and global context. 

Read more about the conference here

Magnus Zingmark
Visiting researcher, associate professor
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