Arctic Tourism in Times of Change


image of Arctic Tourism in Times of Change

The seasonal nature of tourism is increasingly receiving the attention of various actors: tourism destination planners and economic development strategists at all levels, tour operators and the diverse businesses that significantly depend on tourism, and the host communities who negotiate tourism’s potential to have both positive and negative impacts. The research report at hand identifies and discusses four main perspectives on the issues of seasonal tourism in the Arctic: local community perspectives; employment and workforce issues; the Arctification of northern tourism; and global environmental change. These themes form the key issues around which the challenges and opportunities related to seasonality of tourism can be placed and worked with. Based on the discussion, the report outlines recommendations related to developing a thriving and sustainable tourism sector in Arctic Europe.



Employment and workforce issues

In this chapter, employment and workforce issues are discussed from the perspectives of labour availability, capacity building and income security. The seasonal characteristics of Arctic tourism have created an imbalance in operations and delivered a huge challenge in relation to the workforce. Employers highlight that it is both difficult to recruit skilled employees and retain them while employees face difficulties in building up long-term careers within the sector. Local tourist companies face fierce competition from national or international operators that are better placed to hire skilled workers and relocate them as suitable for their business according to seasonality. Seasonality is a central barrier to develop tourism’s ability to provide meaningful employment as well as opportunities for advancement in the Arctic region.


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