The importance and public visibility of the Arctic has grown considerably in recent decades. The region is in the international policy and academic limelight due to ongoing and estimated global climate change impacts, its’ energy resources and potential future transportation routes opened by shrinking ice cover. Growing in tandem with the regions visibility are means of transport, accessibility and mobilities infrastructure. Thus greater attention and visitations related to ‘mega-events’ such as the berthing of massive cruise ships is occurring. As a consequence the Arctic region and the nature and scale of the tourism industry in the Arctic are changing relatively fast calling for new kinds of development and governance strategies and practices and greater attention in research. This mixed panel and presentation workshop aims to address the prospects and challenges in arctic tourism and its relationships with rapidly changing socio-ecological environments, reflecting on the different frames of meta-governance as well as the national interests. The workshop is for scholars and other experts and policy-makers working with arctic tourism. A special emphasis will be given on tourism policy and research needs in the Arctic. Selected panelists will shortly present their views before opening the topic to the audience for a general discussion.

This session is jointly hosted by the University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Northern Tourism and the International Polar Tourism Research Network.