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“Implication of circular economy in the tourism industry-Case study: Lahti, Finland”, master’s thesis (Aviation and Tourism Business) submitted to

Lahti city in Finland is chosen as a case for this research work. Lahti is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Finland and is currently one of the leaders in the Circular Economy (CE) movement. Lahti has a bold vision to be a zero-waste CE city by 2050 (Green Lahti 2021). Mayor of Lahti city Pekka Timonen (European Union 2020, 18) points out that, “Lahti has shown bold ambition, undergoing a green transformation from being a poor, industrial city in the early 1990’s to a city of the future today.” Lahti is a very early mover in the CE journey and a growing tourist destination. Lahti’s tourism industry’s experience in becoming a circular city could be explored scientifically, and the knowledge would inspire other cities. Much research has been done in the CE with a total of 5696 scientific papers. However, very little research has been done in CE and tourism sector. Only 55 articles and books were published in English until 2020 in CE and tourism. Most of the existing research conducted is in the manufacturing area and neglects the service sector such as tourism. The thesis examines and analyses the circularity in tourism at a tourist destination. The literature review of the thesis work creates a framework for circular tourism and will be compared with Lahti city, Finland. The research studies a wide range of tourism organizations in Lahti, such as different types of accommodation, restaurants, museums, sports centers, and event venues. The thesis answers the following questions: 1. What is the current state of circular tourism in Lahti, and what majors are applied towards circularity? 2. What are the challenges to circularity in tourism in Lahti? 3. What are the new plans from the tourism sector in Lahti to become more circular?