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Sustainable tourism development

  • Publisert 01.03.2003
  • Sist oppdatert 09.06.2011
The main goal of the project was to establish a long-term working model and project concept for a sustainable arctic tourism development. In order to reach this goal, the current practises of Northern tourism enterprises and their needs – current as well as future - were analysed and compiled. Special emphasis was placed on identifying successful tools and practices to improve the SMEs sustainability.

Frontpage report

The results of the project provide an overview of the tourism SMEs development needs in the field of sustainable tourism and form a basis for future cooperation and activities. A distinct result of the feasibility study is the need for an international approach to sustainable tourism (development) in the Arctic. National efforts concerning implementation of sustainable tourism practices seem not to be powerful enough and neglect the opportunities that lie in the cooperation on a circumpolar level. In general, the needs of the tourism sector require concrete activities and outputs to face the challenge of a sustainable tourism development.

Furthermore, a survey concerning the current situation in the field of sustainable tourism was carried out. The results display cases of implemented sustainable tourism practices, the benefits derived from those practices as well as information on currently active initiatives in the field of sustainable tourism in the Nordic countries. Contributing immensely to the success of the project was an international multi-stakeholder network consisting of more than thirty different kinds of interest bodies, such as tourism development bodies, environmental organisations, local and regional governments and communities. 

Apart from the previously mentioned results, there is one main conclusions for future work in the field of sustainable tourism development in the North: 


There is an overall need to strengthen and build local competency in sustainable tourism issues and provide incentives to implement these practices. 

One promising way to achieve this could be through SMART (Sustainable Model of Regional Arctic Tourism) which derived from the multi-stakeholder network established in the process for this pre-project. SMART aims to assist small- and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMEs) and other players in local rural tourism development to adopt economically, environmentally and culturally sustainable tourism practices by providing access to resources, tools, professional training and marketing or economic incentives. SMART’s goal is to be as inclusive as possible and it recognises the different stages of tourism development throughout the individual participating countries. 

The network of interested stakeholders as well as the SMART project are meant to be dynamic and welcome new members. Current partners are dedicated to promote the project’s outputs and ideas in order to strengthen sustainable development in the Northern tourism sector.