Smart and Sustainable Arctic Tourism
CLUSTER IN A NUTSHELL
- A network of entrepreneurs, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), research and education institutes, development organizations, municipalities, tourism projects etc.
- The objective is to ensure that the development of the tourism industry is positive and happens in harmony with the wider operating environment
- Guarantee that tourism in Lapland is economically, socially, culturally, ecologically and politically sustainable
- The investment potential in Lapland tourism is estimated to be 2 billion euros by 2025
- The cluster is an effective co-operation network with strategic international and national partners
Tourism is an important and growing industry in Lapland bringing livelihoods to entrepreneurs and municipalities. The aim of the Smart and Sustainable Arctic Tourism cluster is to grow smartly: by 2030 the cluster wishes to increase tourism income up to 1.5 billion euros. The aim is to achieve this growth responsibly, without compromising the safety and quality of the industry. This will happen mainly by developing year-round tourism.
Moreover, the cluster has ambitious objectives in several development areas. One of the core aims of the cluster is to increase the share of tourism income during the snow free period up to 40 percent of all direct tourism income. Therefore, the cluster aims to increase the number of direct international flight connections and railway connections to Lapland, especially during the snow free period. Other objectives are to (1) adopt smart practices and become a smart tourism destination (2) be a forerunner in digital sales and marketing of tourism services and (3) to use analyzed data on the bases of everyday operations and strategic decision making.
Regional level, strategic projects that support the smart and sustainable aims of the cluster:
Developing Low Carbon and Economically Sustainable Tourism in Lapland (running) VÄLKKY
This project aims to promote the achievement of low carbon targets in Lapland tourism. In particular, the project focuses on ecological and economic sustainability aspects. The project co-ordinates co-operation, sets common goals for the future, takes measures, monitors and evaluates development by utilizing various indicators and communicates the results of these efforts. The measures are implemented at enterprise, tourism and provincial levels. The project focuses on the long-term sustainability of tourism, energy solutions, recycling and waste management, as well as low carbon and sustainability indicators.
Data and Smart Tourism management in Lapland (ERDF project application)
This project aims to create operating models which help to collect and process optimal data for the use of tourism destinations and SMEs in Lapland. These models will particularly help in the use of well-analyzed data for everyday management purposes as well as for long-term strategic planning. Therefore, the project aims to support the smart growth of tourism in Lapland and to save tourism actors resources by doing things and learning together. Furthermore, in addition to increasing co-operation within the region, the aim of the project is that Lapland will be one of the leading parties developing smart tourism practices at a national and EU-level.
Case example of cooperation
Smart cooperation in tourism sector in Finnish Lapland
Smart and Sustainable Arctic Tourism ecosystem strives for smart growth with the aim of achieving growth by using responsible and sustainable approaches without compromising safety and quality. Arctic Tourism cluster is a network of entrepreneurs, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), research and education institutes, development organizations, municipalities, tourism projects etc. One of the tourism companies working within the networks of Arctic tourism cluster is Beyond Artic.
Juho Uutela is one of the founders of the programme service company Beyond Arctic, which was founded in 2016. The company started its operation when two entrepreneurs decided to bring photograph tours to Lapland. In the beginning, Beyond Arctic was a small business and there were not many services available yet. Photography combined with tourism was a new service concept which had a strong and growing demand.
Sustainability has been part of Beyond Arctic’s operations from the very beginning. Beyond Arctic is involved in the Sustainable Travel Finland programme with the aim of achieving the STF-label. The company also supports Protect our Winters’ (POW) operations and belongs to the Lapland Responsible Tourism Network. The Network is a regional facebook-based community with no official organization. The network aims to meet annually to get inspiration from one another and exchange ideas on current topics.
Beyond Arctic has been cooperating with the University of Lapland for three years now, and as well as with Lapland Edication Centre REDU and Lapland University of Applied Sciences in various projects development and student projects. Cooperation with universities and educational institutes is natural for Uutela, because he has studied tourism research at the University of Lapland himself. Hence, he already knows the right contacts at Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI), which comprises tourism education and research of these three institutes.
Beyond Arctic shares the same values of sustainable tourism with the universities. Universities teach the theory, while Beyond Arctic provides practical examples from the business point of view. Uutela has given some visitor lectures at the University of Lapland on current topics, such as sustainability. Beyond Arctic has been involved in various tourism projects, as well as commissioned theses for the students and employed them simultaneously.
With the help of the latest research and cooperation, the company will receive up-to-date information which assists in making business plans and planning sustainability. When developing something new, fresh viewpoints from outside the company are always helpful.
The cooperation will improve the accessibility of tourism both locally and regionally at the level in whole Lapland. Interpersonal interaction is one of the most important things for a company, and the best things happen through collaboration.
– These things are developed together, Uutela emphasizes.
More information about Beyond Arctic: Photography tours & small-group adventures in Rovaniemi Lapland – Beyond Arctic