ARCTIC TOURISM. New concepts means new posibilities

“Entregado a Transnordic en enero de 2020”


The fact.

“Old world imaginations of north are so much formed by images of the Scandinavian lands and of the lost-and-found territory of Greenland”.
Davidson, P. “The idea of the north”

The Arctic is not only a geographical area of our planet but home of natural wonders and awesome sceneries. Further beyond this first approach, the Arctic hides a finite natural heritage and several valuable cultural manifestations that, all together, display a unique legacy we should be ready to understand and to preserve. One of the very best ways to develop such projects (understand and preserve) is through the tourism activity (consume), however always having in mind a small range of precepts.

There are numbers of touristic resources within the Arctic that can be consumed today by the visitors, as it is happening already when following the usual ways of touristic resources exploitation. Two contemporary realities might lead the strategies to settle down our business at the right locations and in search of profitable investments and wanted services by the current travelers: clima conditions and social tendencies.

Arctic leisure


Why to do it?

“Putting value judgements aside, the consequences of global warming in the Arctic will involve both tragedy and success, destruction and innovation, risk and opportunity, for better or worse, losers and winners. What is certain is that a static vision of the Arctic is unsustainable in an era of rapid change and shifting climate”.
Emmerson, C. “The future history of the Arctic”.

Although Arctic is huge, first of all and according to the current touristic resources and potential travelers social demands, we set the geographical area boundaries to proceed afterwards with the location of the touristic destinations: Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard, their wonders, their beauties, their uniqueness but mainly their representativeness among the Arctic. These islands are the main emerged lands over the European Arctic basin and are a very good example of what Arctic has been and what is nowadays in ecosystemic and historical terms. Despite the touristic companies might see a challenge when opening markets in the Arctic it seems the contemporary climatic conditions and the new social circumstances will cosign the action.

Clima change and global warming are deeply affecting the Earth ecosystems and the living people areas of the planet surface: landscapes are being transformed, newgeopolitical strategies have came up and mighty nations deal for the future. The Arctic represents an iconic part of the planet that more and more people will “need” to visit sooner or later just because it has to be done before it disappears.

On the other hand, and after the postmodern sensibility had reached its peak during these last decades, a new philosophical paradigm have appeared: transmodernity. Transmoderns live after other precepts that include individual solidarity, natural and social conscience and the challenge of change among others. So ¿can the companies plan the consumption of the touristic resources within the Arctic for the future? Yes, we can, and we should.

The proposal.

“All will have to struggle to adapt and survive in the coming transformation of the Arctic. A transformation is what it will be -if you are able to take a philosophical view of the future-.
Anderson,A. “After the ice. Life, death and geopolitics in the new Arctic”.

The IWORU proposal of action is based on previous research projects and professional experiences in the mentioned Arctic islands but also in Lapland, Patagonia,Japan and New Zealand. We support a specific strategy focused on exploration, research and scientific tourism.

The exploration, research and scientific tourism is an attitude towards the knowledge and understanding of the visited destinations and an act of social responsibility with the contacted local communities. “Scientific Tourism is a tourism modality oriented to the promotion of a tourist and scientific culture that allows to know, share and value the origin, customs and knowledge of the territory in a creative way […], it is a segment of tourism of special interests where the products are coordinated with the development of scientific knowledge, generating opportunities for research support, as well as knowledge transfer to the non-specialist public”. (FAZ Tourism Consulting, 2.018).

Exploration and research are pillars of the scientific tourism, when designing strategies at the very fists stages of the project or either when providing services to the clients. We can provide with quality and unique services but not being elitists. Specific environmental circumstances coexist with a change of social paradigm at the beginning of the 21st century therefore is time for new proposals of approaching and consuming the territory resources: the science will show us up some new touristic grounds and grooves for the pushing trasnmoderns.

Ideas have to be materialized therefore some samplers must be pointed out among the nature based scientific tourism (oceanography, ecology, climatology, etc.) and Arctic culture and local culture scientific tourism (history, economics, way of living, art, anthropology, etc.) we propose:

– Demography, society and identity at the edge of Europe (Lapland).

– Functional glaciarism and glacier geomorphology on mountainous areas of the Arctic.

– Arctic implications in the idea of North.

– Atmosphere and clima change: consequences and challenges in Greenland.

– The opening of the Atlantic ocean and the origin of Iceland.

– Arctic landscapes: ¿why and where?

– Svalbard: cold environments and related ecology.

– History of Lofoten archipelago after the ice age.


Rethinking the Arctic