NS29 Session 25

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: Coping with the Arctification of Northern Tourism before, during and after Covid-19 pandemic

Organiser: Dieter K. Müller and Patrick T. Maher

Affiliation: Umeå University and Nipissing University



Riding the wave of public attention that the Arctic had gained recently, tourism on the top of Europe had increasingly been portrayed as ‘Arctic’, too. Tourism stakeholders were prominent among those who have promoted such a re-imaging of the North towards being a part of the Arctic and indeed, rising numbers of tourist arrivals as well as an increasingly global demand suggested that this has been a successful business strategy. This process can be seen as part of an overall ‘Arctification’. Still, the tourist crowds consuming Arctic products, such as aurora borealis watching, indigenous cultural shows, and various snow and winter-related products, created not only opportunities but posed challenges for host communities, too. This was partly because new tourists lacked proper preparation, and partly because they were numerous in comparison to host populations. Obviously, the pandemic meant a break to this development. This creates opportunities to review experiences and reconsider previous strategies.

This session invites contributions that illustrate ongoing changes in Arctic tourism across Northern Europe or similar regions of the circumpolar North empirically and aim at advancing theoretical understanding of Arctification and its implications for northern destinations. Contributions highlighting how individuals, communities, companies, destination organizations or other stakeholders try to cope with tourism impacts on ecological and social change are of interest. In this context, contributions on how the concept of Arctification unfolds during and potentially after the pandemic are particularly welcome.