Culturally Sensitive Tourism in the Arctic (2018-2021)


The project ‘Culturally Sensitive Tourism in the Arctic’ – ARCTISEN – develops a support system for start-ups and existing small and medium-sized enterprises offering innovative tourism products and services in the Arctic. The support system can be understood in many ways, but for us it means bringing together different actors and sharing knowledge and skills. Moreover, it is important to build new knowledge and create better understanding on encounters between locals and guests.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism was growing fast in Arctic areas and bringing unforeseen opportunities to support local livelihoods and lifestyles. At the same time, limited knowledge of Indigenous and other local cultures in Northern communities has been calling for more open, respectful and sensitive dialogue among different tourism actors. In fact, the project partners in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Denmark/Greenland have highlighted the pressing demand for new tourism products and services that draw on the rich natural and cultural resources of the region. Our aim is to increase knowledge of sensitive tourism development, open up dialogues between different actors and make a change in the product development to be based more on cooperation and being true to oneself. If implemented in a large scale, this kind of shift might the tourism to be more sensitive, sustainable and responsible after-COVID-19 in Arctic areas and beyond.

The project introduces cultural sensitivity as a core value that guides the project activities from benchmarking to test visits, workshops to online courses. These activities will help tourism start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises to turn their place-based opportunities into viable tourism businesses in close cooperation with a wide range of tourism practitioners and scholars across the Arctic area. This will also contribute to a more positive business climate for tourism companies.

By visiting our blog, you can read inspirational texts from our partners and associated partners about tourism business and development. We have also gathered project publications here. Moreover, if you are interested how the project description looks like in the project partners’ own languages, you can read them over here. Just click the links or the titles above.

Currently, we are preparing an online course, which will be launched later on year 2020 and it will be available also in this page.

Welcome to follow our journey to culturally sensitive Arctic tourism!




Outi Kugapi, Project Manager
University of Lapland
Email: outi.kugapi(a)
Tel: +358 40 4844 050

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