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Encouraging Tourism Development Through the EU Structural Funds
– the implementation of EU programmes on Bornholm and the tourism sector's use of them

Benedicte Bull

Research Centre of Bornholm/Bornholms Forskningscenter Stenbrudsvej 55 DK-3730 Nexø, Denmark Tel.: +45 56 44 11 44, Fax: +45 56 49 46 24 E-mail: rcb@rcb.dk

Copyright: © 1998 Bornholms Forskningscenter, and the author. Nopart of this report may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form of means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission by Bornholms Forskningscenter. Brief textquotations are exempted for review, press and academic purposes.

ISBN 87-90144-74-0 ISSN 1396-4895 September 1998

European integration has givenrise to a set of challenges to European peripheral areas, but also opportunities and benefits for certain sectors, among them, tourism. Bornholm has had success in attracting considerable funds to the local tourism sector from the European Structural Fund. This report takes a closer look at how Bornholm has managed to bring in these funds from the EU, how they are spent in the tourism industry,and to what extent they have alleviated the problems faced by the tourism sector on Bornholm in the 1990s. Evaluating the effect of support programs in the tourism sector is a complicated task. The complexity of the sector and the vulnerability to external determinants are two out of many factors which make it difficult to evaluate programs on pre-defined criteria such as number of jobs created ornumber of additional tourists attracted. This report takes as the starting point the obstacles to tourism development on Bornholm as they are viewed the tourism industry. Taking the perspective of the local actors, the study further attempts to understand the demands placed on the agencies responsible for implementation of the programs at the local level, and the impact of their performance withrespect to the successes and failures of the funds in encouraging tourism development. This report is not a presentation of numbers; it does not attempt to estimate the economic impact of the funds in the tourism sector. The aim is rather to give an account of how the tourism industry experience their encounters with the EU system, and to what extent programme funds affect their struggle to survivein the tourism sector in a peripheral area of Europe. The report has attempted to give a balanced, but honest, picture of the various experiences of different operators. As such, it complements evaluations made on more economic criteria, and should provide a valuable input for policy makers at the local, national and EU level, as well as operators in the tourism industry considering theopportunities found within the EU system.

Svend Lundtorp Bornholms Forskningscenter September 1998

Authors Preface
On my numerous visits to farms, hotels and public offices connected to the work in this report, I was often met with the question: What is a Norwegian woman doing studying EU programmes in Denmark? I seldom had a good answer to this admittedly relevant question. My interest in thematter grew out of curiosity about how the EU system actually impacts local areas, and how their opportunities are limited or increased as a consequence of European integration. A guiding light of the study has been a belief that every area has to be understood on its own premises. This belief has guided my choice of method (case study) and approach to the subject. And, certainly, working on thisreport has given me the opportunity to get to know Bornholm in a more intensive manner than many foreigners do even though I only stayed on the island for six months. The interviews brought me to every hole-and-corner of Bornholm, and over numerous coffees I have gradually gained an understanding of the unique qualities of the Bornholm tourism industry. I am grateful to all the informants who during...
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