Culturally Sensitive Tourism in the Arctic (2018-2021)


The project ‘Culturally Sensitive Tourism in the Arctic’ – ARCTISEN – developed 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. The aim of the project was 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 introduced cultural sensitivity as a core value that guides the project activities from benchmarking to test visits, workshops to online courses. These activities were designed to 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. The outcomes of the project continue to 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.

In 2021, ARCTISEN launched two free, self-study courses that can be accessed here. These courses offer help and guidance to tourism entrepreneurs, workers, developers, DMOs, guides, students and everyone interested in questions related to cultural sensitivity in tourism. 

Welcome to learn more about our journey to culturally sensitive Arctic tourism!




Monika Lüthje,
Responsible leader of the project
University of Lapland
Tel: +358 40 4844 198

    ARCTISEN is part of ETRAC cluster to promote ethical tourism recovery in Arctic communities. Find more about the next ETRAC webinar here.


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    Welcome to interesting, free webinar on culturally sensitive tourism on 7 October!

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    Save the date and stay tuned for more information.

    Free webinar: Fostering Culturally-Sensitive Practices in Tourism

    Organized together with ATLAS...

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    It’s time to connect!

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    Tourism can be a great way to educate tourists about local cultures and how they are lived in practice! Ellinor Utsi started her tourism company Davvi...

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    During the project lifetime, we have collected important tourism guidelines around the project area and collected them to a prezi-presentation...

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    Our online benchmark series started April 26 from Northern Norway with the theme: Representing culture - Moving away from stereotypes. This digital...

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    Season's greetings from ARCTISEN project

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    Online course about cultural sensitivity in tourism coming up soon! Read more here and stay tuned!

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