Arctic tourism is affected by globalization and environmental transformation, but it also plays a role in changing the North. For example, tourism can be a component of community development, drawing out creative solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges. It can be an important arena for involvement for both women and men, which is valuable during a time when many Arctic and northern areas are facing increased activities in male dominated industries such as oil and gas. On the other hand, tourism can bring unwanted and unintended pressures that have negative outcomes for community structures and the environment. The Master’s Degree Programme in Northern Tourism – based on a joint 30 credits component organised by the Univeristy of Arctic’s Thematic Network on Northern Tourism – offers a comprehensive and international approach to tourism and reflects on the growing global influence and relevance of change in the North. It brings together researchers and students from the northern univeristies, with an interest to develop responsible tourism futures.
The students attending a joint higher education in tourism will become professionals in their field of study, specializing on northern tourism and various aspects closely related to the sustainable development of the Arctic region. The graduates will in the future be the consulted experts, who steer the development of the Arctic towards a more sustainable direction; who hold the contemporary know-how of the present-day challenges facing the economic growth in the North; and who thanks to their education have increased employment possibilities in the field of tourism in northern and Arctic context.
Research and education on sustainable northern tourism builds knowledge on the challenges facing the northern and Arctic regions and offers tools for the sustainable development of tourism in the North. Through the involvement of the Thematic Network on Northern Tourism, the programme offers education based on research activities of the leading tourism scholars from Arctic areas. The joint component consist of a field course and of two online courses.