Geografie 2011, 116, 191-210

Second home tourism in light of the historical-political and socio-geographical development of Czechia and Sweden

Jiří Vágner1, Dieter K. Müller2, Dana Fialová1

1Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Dpt. of Social Geography and Regional Development, Albertov 6, 128 43, Praha 2, Czechia
2University of Umeå, Dpt. of Social and Economic Geography, S-901 87, Sweden

Received December 2009
Accepted January 2011

The article presents a comparative study of the evolution, present state, location, regulation, trends and perspectives of second home tourism and its research in Czechia and Sweden as examples, respectively, of a Central- European, post-communist and a Nordic country. The results are based on long-term research on second housing at Charles University in Prague and Umeå University in Sweden. A broad range of literature, along with extensive personal experience, proves that second housing processes and factors influencing the ownership and location have much in common, regardless of differing historical, socio-economic and political backgrounds. Such processes are related to specific lifestyle and leisure practices in combination with activities in nature as well as stages in the urbanization process. Social and subjective factors prevailed the political (and economic) terms. The Nordic countries exhibit comparable absolute and relative data on second homes, similar schemes of recreational commuting and trends concerning the transformation of second homes into permanent dwellings, or the dissolution of differences between the utilization of both types of homes. Other common features can be found in commercialization and internationalization in recent decades. Changes in second housing should be explored in light of demographic changes in terms of owners and users, tax policies and the development of recreational municipalities. Generally, the trends reflect the changes in mobility with the shift of tourism society toward leisure society.


The research was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, Project No. 43/03/1491 “The significance of recreational function of settlements and municipalities in the process of forming regional identity and identity of regions in the Czech Republic”.


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