Promoting sustainable nature-based tourism in the arctic region of the Land of the Midnight Sun: Opportunities and challenges
Promoting sustainable nature-based tourism in the Arctic region of the Land of the Midnight Sun has the potential to bring about economic growth and job creation. It is estimated that tourism contributes to employment of more than 15,000 persons in the three northernmost counties of Norway. Moreover, the foreign visitors spent around 3.5 billion in 2010 in the Arctic region of the Land of the Midnight Sun. However, the opportunities for sustainable tourism in the region are not without challenges. For instance, issues related to destination governance and land use conflicts can act as major hindrances to achieving sustainability. In addition, climate change has opened up new opportunities for the region to promote itself as a nature-based tourist destination. However, large ski resort-based destination development in Arctic Sweden may lead to further land use conflicts. To address these challenges, future research should assess the natural and technical snow reliability of existing and potential ski areas. Furthermore, the research should incorporate adaptive capacities of suppliers and substitution tendencies of consumers, and evaluate overall regional development needs. Additionally, the region's potential ski areas can be combined with market awareness to foster regional development. Lastly, environmentaly protected areas in Arctic Sweden are important attractions for nature based tourism and traditional livelihoods for the Sámi. Taken together, promoting sustainable nature-based tourism in the Arctic region of the Land of the Midnight Sun has both opportunities and challenges.
By Roger K. Olsson