Research groups

Nordic Cruise Researchers Network

The ITRC took a leading part in the establishment of the Nordic Cruise Researchers Network (NCRN) for scholars who direct their research on cruise traffic and cruise tourism in the North. By mid 2018 the Network counted researchers from thirty universities and research institutions in twelve countries.

Þórný Barðadóttir is leading the work of the NCRN in cooperation with Dr. Kristina Svels at Norlandsforskining, Norway.



The Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network

The ITRC is a funding partner of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN). The aim of the IACN is to facilitate cooperation amongst Icelandic public and private organizations, institutions, businesses and bodies involved in Arctic issues, such as in research, education, innovation and monitoring.



International Polar Tourism Researchers Network

The ITRC is an active member of the International Polar Tourism Research Network (IPTRN). Membership in the network includes university researchers, consultants, tourism operators, government organizations, community members, and graduate students dedicated to analysing tourism in Arctic and Antarctic settings. The IPTRN strives to generate, share and disseminate knowledge, resources and perspectives on polar tourism; and strongly supports the development of international collaboration and cooperative relationships between members. 

Read more about IPTRN here



The ITRC´s Employment Working Group was created at the 13th Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference, held in Reykjavik 28, 29 September 2017. The group’s purpose is to advance and share practice-relevant knowledge on tourism employment. Tourism’s impacts, economic, social and environmental are widely acknowledged. However, challenges surrounding tourism employment and the place of tourism workers as key stakeholders in the development of tourism remain relatively poorly researched. Issues the working group seeks to explore (this list is indicative, not exclusive) include:

  • Immigration for tourism work and its impacts
  • Perceptions of Tourism Employment and their relation to career development
  • The nature of tourism work (e.g. decent work, self-employment, burnout/stress/ work pressures, productivity)
  • Tourism work and human capital (high skills/low skills debate, emotional and aesthetic labour, education and training for tourism).

Group leader is Andreas Walmsley, Plymouth University, UK
Other members are:

  • Petra Blinnikka, ICRT, Finland
  • Magnfríður Júlíusdóttir, University of Iceland
  • Gunnar Thór Jóhannesson, University of Iceland
  • Katrín Anna Lund, University of Iceland
  • Anna Mjöll Guðmundsdóttir, University of Iceland
  • Guðrún Þóra Gunnarsdóttir, Icelandic Tourism Research Centre

Those who are interested to participate are welcome to contact the group leader.



Toolbox Working Group

It is important, first of all, to define for whom the toolbox is? It was discussed that an effective and functioning toolbox should cater for all the stakeholders involved. Some of the tools are applicable for each stakeholder, some tools should be designed to the needs of the specific stakeholder. Also, there are different needs in different regions, countries etc.
From tour operator point of view, it was mentioned in the discussion that one part of toolbox is about informing and educating the customers. One part is about monitoring, and after monitoring phase, the other tools are easier to define. Monitoring tools: how customers move in the destinations?
We need first monitoring tools, after that other research questions and tools can be created.
We all agreed that the toolbox should be communicated well and it should be cohesive. We need multiple toolbox for different stakeholders.
Research questions for comparative study could be something like this:

  • What kind of toolbox works in practice?
  • How to monitor the effect of different tools? Long-term actions, and long-term perspective needed.
  • Toolboxes of different countries, what kind of toolboxes for different stakeholders there are?
  • Where does the money go? Who is profiting and to what extent? This is one interesting topic.
  • How does the toolbox could be useful in educating customers?

Toolbox for the company must include exist operations that company is already using.
For the local community toolbox could also be a way to communicate about responsibility issues to for example tour operators, customers, media etc.
Storytelling should be included, could also be effective towards communicating to media and politicians.

Group leader is Petra Blinnikka, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland. 

Other members are:

  • Manfred Schreiber, Studiosus Reisen München
  • Magnus Haukur Asgeirsson, University of Iceland
  • Kjartan Bollason, Hólar University College
  • Harold Goodwin, Responsible Tourism Partnership and Institute of Place Management at MMU

Those who are interested to participate are welcome to contact the group leader.