Living on multiple edges: Forces influencing tourism in Silloth and The Solway Coast

Guiver, Jo W orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6126-3662, Jarratt, David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7244-428X, Weston, Richard orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2411-6019 and Wylie, Rick orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8294-4931 (2022) Living on multiple edges: Forces influencing tourism in Silloth and The Solway Coast. Coastal Studies & Society . p. 263498172211439.

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Tourist destinations experience a number of influences, many out of their control. Being geographically peripheral often confers tourist appeal: being beside the sea, rural or rugged countryside, with fewer people and more space than urban centres, but is associated with being politically peripheral with less influence on local and national policies impacting on the area. To explore the impact of peripherality, this research investigated the forces affecting the tourist fortunes of the Cumbrian Solway coast, a small, remote area on the edge of Northwest England, Cumbria and close to the popular tourist area of the Lake District. Semi-structured interviews with tourism providers in the area helped identify a number of dynamic influences and ‘edges’, including different interpretations of the coast and countryside and political decisions about public spending on tourism. Local organisations supporting tourism to achieve different goals (landscape preservation, habitat conservation, maintaining and enhancing local services and infrastructure, community vitality, employment and prosperity) sometimes failed to align their motives and work together for common goals. The case study reflects the circumstances in many small resorts. A dialectical approach, acknowledging the constantly changing political, economic and other contexts of tourism, offers potential for future tourism research.

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