University of Oulu

Alix Varnajot & Jarkko Saarinen (2022) Emerging post-Arctic tourism in the age of Anthropocene: case Finnish Lapland, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 22:4-5, 357-371, DOI: 10.1080/15022250.2022.2134204

Emerging post-Arctic tourism in the age of Anthropocene : case Finnish Lapland

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Author: Varnajot, Alix1; Saarinen, Jarkko1,2,3
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
3Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, Sustainable Destination Development, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2022
Publish Date: 2024-04-17


Climate change is often considered as a looming apocalypse in the media and its impacts on the cryosphere are increasingly visible in the Arctic region. This apocalyptic future of the Arctic relates to a set of narratives associated with the Anthropocene, wherein snowy landscapes, glaciers and polar bears have disappeared. This has led to a trend called last chance tourism, which has become an evolving economic opportunity for tourism operators and local communities. In this conceptual article we propose an alternative vision for Arctic tourism development referred to as “post-Arctic tourism”. In order to illustrate the idea, we utilize Finnish Lapland (Arctic Finland) as an example based on existing literature. It is argued that post-Arctic tourism may be based on so-called dark tourism practices if the used and circulated hegemonic representations of the Arctic remain locked in cryospheric- and traditional winter-based imaginaries. This scenario is supported by a social spatialization process called “Arctification”, associated with active attempts to maintain the cryospheric gaze. It is therefore critical for tourism businesses, regions and tourism-dependent communities to rethink and re-invent their Arctic narratives, through “de-Arctification” strategies, allowing for a plurality of tomorrows and for Arctic tourism to become more sustainable and ethical.

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Series: Scandinavian journal of hospitality and tourism
ISSN: 1502-2250
ISSN-E: 1502-2269
ISSN-L: 1502-2250
Volume: 22
Issue: 4-5
Pages: 357 - 371
DOI: 10.1080/15022250.2022.2134204
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: We acknowledge the support of the Academy of Finland for funding the Arctic Interactions (grant number 318930) and Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programs (grant number 339423) at the University of Oulu.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 339423
Detailed Information: 339423 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism on 17 Oct 2022, available at: