Thematic Network on Northern Tourism


The network will work to address gaps in knowledge about northern tourism through comparative, circumpolar research. Such research will expand our understanding of tourism issues with particular relevance for current challenges and future needs. Data will contribute to community needs as well as courses taught at a variety of post-secondary levels, and the wider academic tourism literature.

The network will use a variety of methods to disseminate knowledge, including conferences, publications, community meetings and student study materials. The network aims to undertake research and education which:

  • Is interdisciplinary
  • Is circumpolar
  • Is relevant to northerners and northern communities
  • Reflects local knowledge
  • Is collaborative
  • Builds on our strengths to provide innovative outcomes
  • Empowers though education.

The network is always in search of additional partners within academic, community, and government realms.

The network also seeks to work collaboratively with other University of the Arctic thematic networks, such as Arctic Safety and Security, and Northern Food Security, who deal with related topics. The network is also closely aligned to external networks such as the International Polar Tourism Research Network (IPTRN), and the Arctic 5 Chairs.


Since 2015 we have continuously run a field school and two online courses across seven partner institutions. This program was initially funded by SIU (DIKU) and hosted by UiT. The three courses are now hosted by three single institutions with instructor and examiner teams made up of faculty from each of the seven partners. The field course, Northern Tourism in Practice, is now hosted by the University of Lapland. The two online courses, Sustainable Development in Northern Environments and Northern Tourist, Northern Hosts, are hosted by the University of Oulu and University of Iceland, respectively. The number of students who have completed at least one course is 245, and the number who have now completed the whole certificate is 52. Certificates are awarded for passing all three courses as a “value added” addition to students’ Master’s degree at their home institution.

The international scope of the field course was paused in 2020 and 2021 (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), but has re-started with iterations exploring Pyhä, Finland in 2022 and 2023.

The Masters of Northern Tourism (NOTO) at the University of Lapland, continues to build on the 3-course program developed by network partners. From the NOTO site, one can also see how the Thematic Network’s work interacts with a variety of other Arctic research collaborations – particularly those of the Nordregio-funded Partnership for Sustainability: Arctic Tourism in Times of Change and the Arctic 5 Chair in Tourism and Climate Emergency.

Members of the network collaborated on a co-authored chapter in D.C. Natcher and T. Koivurova’s (2023). Renewable Economies in the Arctic. Routledge.  Available as Open Access.

Members are also contributing to a Research Agenda for Arctic Tourism (edited by: O. Rantala and D. Müller, and to be published by Edward Elgar in 2024).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, members were involved in many different virtual conferences, and prominent in a variety of online webinar series, including:

Moving forward, members will speak on a number of panels and host other sessions at the Arctic Congress Bodø 2024, Norway.  This will continue at the 8th IPTRN conference in Arctic Sweden.


Scite Dashboard

UArctic partners with Scite to provide bibliometric dashboards for our Thematic Networks.

Other Information

Video interview: Patrick Maher, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Northern Tourism