NS29 Session 20

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Title: Asian mobilities in the changing Arctic: theory and contexts

Organisers: Young-Sook Lee & Juulia Räikkönen

Affiliation: UiT The Arctic University of Norway and University of Turku


This session aims to direct tourism researchers’ attention to the growing phenomenon of Asian tourists in Nordic destinations. Mirroring the trends in global tourism, destinations in the Nordic countries have seen rapid growths of Asian tourists in recent years. Iceland, the host of the 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research, arguably best represents a Nordic destination where the surge of the tourist arrivals since 2008 (some of whom are increasingly originating from Asian countries) has brought both economic benefits as well as various issues for the local societies to deal/ live with. Hence, the current proposed session might be considered aptly fitting in the symposium´s locality context.

Asian tourist numbers in Nordic destinations, in general, are relatively small when compared to those of the conventionally well-known destinations (e.g., Paris, London, New York, Sydney etc.). Climate change, while being one single biggest threat to the very existence of humanity today, has enabled easier access to the previously inaccessible part in Nordic destinations. Indeed, the melting Arctic ice has seen the rise of `last chance tourism´ where people travel to witness the earth surface´s melting itself before it all disappears. The fact that tourism is an amalgamation of natural, cultural, economic and political elements is not foreign in the Nordic settings. Such multi-faceted dimensions are even more intensified due to, from many contributing factors, the scales and speed of human interactions and resource usage in the Asian mobilities on Arctic destinations.

This session, therefore, intends to serve as a departure point to meet, share and try to build a critical researcher community, based on the shared passion for better understanding the various possibilities and risks related to growing numbers of Asian tourists in the Nordic destinations. As such, research from various disciplines is warmly invited.


Abstract submission