Globalised imaginaries, Arctification and resistance in Arctic tourism – an Arctification perspective on tourism actors’ views on seasonality and growth in Ylläs tourism destination
Lundén, Aapo; Varnajot, Alix; Kulusjärvi, Outi; Partanen, Mari (2023-08-08)
Aapo Lundén, Alix Varnajot, Outi Kulusjärvi & Mari Partanen (2023) Globalised imaginaries, Arctification and resistance in Arctic tourism – an Arctification perspective on tourism actors’ views on seasonality and growth in Ylläs tourism destination, The Polar Journal, 13:2, 312-335, DOI: 10.1080/2154896X.2023.2241248
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
This paper explores the relationship between regional branding, global visions of the Arctic, and tourism seasonality. We analyse tourism development in the Ylläs tourism destination in Finnish Lapland, exemplifying how Arctic branding and place production are fostered and challenged among tourism actors. To analyse tourism actors’ perspectives on growth and development, we employ an Arctification perspective, understood as a form of globalisation and spatiocultural expansion of the Arctic in northern Europe. In more detail, the article examines tourism actors’ views on seasonality and year-round tourism, as these divide opinions and exemplify key development challenges and limits in the Arctic. We provide an analysis of tourism actor interviews from Ylläs, describing attitudes towards seasonality, growth, and the role of Arctic branding and the related regionalisation process in tourism development. The results reveal adaptation and opposing approaches to seeing Ylläs through the global lenses of the Arctic. We further divide these positions into exogenous and endogenous tourism development strategies. The study elaborates on how northern areas are simplistically and export-oriented associated with the Arctic through the social process of Arctification. Finally, the article proposes contextualising seasonality more robustly by paying close attention to socio-ecological sustainability, local contradictions, and alternative opinions in envisioning Arctic tourism development.
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