Coping with Cars, Families, and Foreigners: Swedish Postwar Tourism
Book chapter, 2015
Starting in the early 1930s, the Swedish hostel offered simple, low-cost, communal accommodation for hiking and biking tourists. Hostels were the domain of the Swedish Tourist Association, the key intermediary in the Swedish tourism sector. In this chapter, Per Lundin explores how Sweden’s traditional hostel movement coped with the ensuing postwar tourism, which was highly mobile, car-based, and family-oriented. The American-style motel appeared perfectly suited to accommodate this modern form of tourism. But, as Lundin demonstrates, the Swedish Tourist Association chose to modernize the hostel movement in another way: by selectively appropriating components of the American model of modernity. Ultimately, Sweden—and much of Europe—adopted the car-centered, highly mobile way of life—without adopting the American concept of comfort.