NS29 Session 11

29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times

21-23 September 2021



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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



With COVID 19 having the biggest impact on tourism sector, this session aims to direct tourism researchers’ attention to the growing phenomenon of Asian tourists in Nordic destinations until the advent of the pandemic. Mirroring the trends in global tourism before the pandemic, destinations in the Nordic countries have seen rapid growths of Asian tourists in recent years.  

Expected `reset´ of tourism sector in the post-COVID era provides sufficient rationale for our focused attention on Asian mobilities in the Nordic destinations. Before the pandemic, Asian tourist numbers in Nordic destinations were, fast growing, albeit comparatively small in the global context.  

Climate change, while being one single biggest threat to the very existence of us - humanity today, has enabled an easier access to the previously inaccessible parts in Nordic destinations. Indeed, the melting Arctic ice has seen the rise of `last chance tourism´ where people travel to witness the vanishing of the earth surface. 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 resources usage. In the post-COVID era, the Asian tourists´ zeal for melting Arctic is unlikely to diminish.  

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