Second home mobility in Finland: Patterns, practices and relations of leisure oriented mobile lifestyle
Keywords:rural second homes, mobile lifestyle, physical mobility, tourism geography, relational approach, Finland
The paper focuses on leisure oriented mobile lifestyle between urban home and rural second home in Finland which is one of the world’s leading countries in terms of second home ownership and tourism. Spatial patterns and social practices of physical mobility related to second home use are revealed by using triangulation of research methods and data. Analysis is based on GIS data, questionnaire survey results and national statistics. A relational approach is applied to conceptualise and contextualise second home mobility which is influenced by many bio-physical and socio-cultural processes and changes. Relational elements and processes interlinked to past, present and future of second home related physical mobility are identified. Natural amenities form the physical geographical basis for rural second home distribution which correlates with length of shoreline, distance to urban areas and local land use in second home environments. Second home related spatial mobility patterns differ and depend on size of the urban region of origin. Helsinki metropolitan dwellers have the longest trips to second homes which is explained not merely by environmental but by historical, societal and social reasons as well. Second home related social mobility practices are dependent on cottage owners’ and users’ life phase and standard of second homes. Retiring baby boom generation is the largest and most active cottager group and after retirement the use of second homes increases remarkably. The vast majority of second home owners and users travel
the cottage trips by private cars and wish to spend at least as much time at rural second home as present. However, they do not intend to give up the urban home which leads to the conclusion that leisure related lifestyle mobility in between urban and rural living environments will continue to characterise second home owners’ and users’ way of life.