Hospitality. The word steers our attention towards good food, excellent service and perhaps a nice place to rest. Sometimes it refers to the “DNA” or special spirit that characterises those who work in the tourism or hospitality industry. Hospitality carries a positive vibe and has become integrated in promoting the Öresund region as a tourist destination; hygge and fika are attractive concepts. If hygge and fika are understood as metaphors of the hospitable spirit of Scandinavia, or the Öresund region, then the aim of this volume is partly to critically reflect upon those who are invited and those who are excluded. Offering help to people in distress is the most fundamental principle of hospitality – but how is this idea related to the way in which hospitality is performed in the tourism industry?
Using the Öresund region as a laboratory, this collection of essays by researchers within fields such as ethnology, cultural geography, sociology and service studies problematises what hospitality signifies and how it is performed. The reader encounters hospitality in hotels and restaurants, but also flats rented out to temporary visitors; hospitality in small shops, aboard ferries on the Öresund, and aircraft taking visitors to the region. The book moves even further away from the realm of the tourism industry in order to scrutinise events that promote regional development. The critical gaze on hospitality is also developed as the book investigates how the moral imperative to be hospitable was negotiated in a Swedish refugee camp during the Second World War. When combined, the contributions provide an insight into the cultural complexity of hospitality as well as how it is organised, performed and variously understood.