THE OWNERS OF SECOND HOMES AS USERS OF RURAL SPACE IN CZECHIA
Although the second home tourism is considered to be an element of the lifestyle of a predominantly urban population, it has a strong influence on rural life. Thus, research on the relations within both urban and rural communities that share the transforming space seems crucial for future rural development. This article focuses on second home owners and users as significant agents in the transformation of the Czech countryside. Available statistical data indicates a high number of second homes with an uneven location pattern in the landscape. Primary data, based on our own field surveys, in-depth interviews and observations, show the significant social impact of second home tourism on the local social environment. The models of conflicts, coexistence and cooperation are investigated in selected peripheral areas in Czechia. Our own contribution to the research is in the specific focus on community development in municipalities with a significant tourist and recreational function. The major aim is to demonstrate and discuss linkages between second home owners and users and territorial identity with the use of empirical data. Our crucial findings contradict statements about conflicts in relations between the local population and incomers from cities. Especially long-term cottage users are no longer considered as outside invaders in rural areas, which used to cause social conflicts. The differences between second homes and primary residences seem to be more blurred than in the past. The conclusion outlines the possible future directions of research with focus on social capital, multiple dwelling and semi-migration concepts.