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 Arctic Coastal Communities and Sustainability, who deal with related topics. The network is also closely aligned to external networks such as the International Polar Tourism Research Network (IPTRN).
Since 2015 we have continuously run a field school and two online courses across seven partner institutions. This program was initially funded by SIU and hosted by UiT. The three courses are hosted by one institution 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. More than 100 students have completed at least one course in this grouping and so far 10 students have received a certificate of completion from UArctic for passing all three course as a “value added” addition to their Master’s degree at their home institution.
Network members have hosted sessions at the 6th IPTRN in 2018 (Yukon, Canada) and 2018 UArctic Congress (Oulu and Helsinki, Finland), and also participated on panels at the International Arctic Forum in 2019 (St. Petersburg, Russia.
A new Masters of Northern Tourism had been launched at the University of Lapland, which builds on the 3-course program developed by network partners. Network partners are also collaborating on a number of Nordregio funded research projects, which support the goals of the course programming.
The seven partners who collaborate on the courses have agreed to continue to run this program and have integrated the field course into the work of one Nordregio project on Arctic Tourism in Times of Change. The 2018 field course focused on seasonality and ran in Rovaniemi, Finland. The next field course will run in October 2019 in Umea, Sweden on the topic of Arctic urban tourism. In 2020, the network is excited to possibly run a third year of the Nordregio-linked field course in Iceland; this would coincide with other projects such as running sessions at the 2020 UArctic Congress and 2020 Arctic Circle.