Envisioning Tourism Futures: The International Arctic Forum (9-10.4.2019)

Tourism researchers Carina Ren (Aalborg University) and Albina Pashkevich (Dalarna University) participated in the International Arctic Forum in St Petersburg.

Tourism researchers Albina Pashkevich and Carina Ren at the International Arctic Forum

The discussions took place under the title: A Warm Welcome: Opportunities for Great Tourist Discoveries in the Arctic

Tourism offers tremendous opportunities for the Arctic and contributes to the development of territories and local communities: it stimulates entrepreneurial activity, job creation, new social infrastructure and better quality of education, and helps to popularize cultural and natural heritage. Russia has enormous infrastructure and natural opportunities for the development of tourism in the Arctic, taking into account the importance of preserving the unique ecosystem of the region and the way of life of the small-numbered indigenous peoples of the North. At the same time, tourism requires an integrated approach, which would take into consideration the interests of all the countries of the macroregion, the scientific community, the tourism industry and tourists themselves. On the agenda is an assessment of the real effect of developing the tourism industry in the northern regions, as well as the ideal image of Arctic tourism in the future. It is clear that the entire region requires a special approach on part of the government, businesses and tourists; this includes treating nature with respect and preserving the special status of local communities. What types of tourism are likely to develop in the region most successfully, and what is their possible economic effect? How may we make amends for the negative impact of tourist areas on the environment and the life of the local population? How may an imbalance in the economies of the tourist regions be prevented?