Tales from the frontier of sustainable global connectivity

A typology of Arctic tourism workers





Arctic, Education, Intercultural Dialogue, Tourism, Sustainability


The Arctic is both known for its picturesque and threatened environment, warming at four times the global average. As tourists continue to flock to the region to witness its natural beauty and decline, they create ‘connectivities’ between the global and the local, which raise the question of whether tourism can play a role in sustainable global relations. This article advances interdisciplinary research that approaches ‘the global’ as a local phenomenon. It does so by broadening the category of ‘tourism workers’ to include hospitality providers, local municipalities, and tour operators in addition to tour guides, and by operationalising Arendt’s practice of ‘visiting’ and Curtin and Bird’s typology of Aboriginal tourism guides. Drawing on data that was co-produced in collaboration with tourism workers in three Arctic states (Canada, Iceland, Norway) via 50 qualitative interviews, participant observation, and a workshop, the article outlines three types of Arctic tourism workers: the Indigenous/Local Storytellers, the Sustainability Educators, and the Safety Experts. Identifying these types, and the motivations and tourist interactions they are associated with provides insights into tourism education and policymaking that can enhance interactions between different global regions and make global ‘connectivities’ more sustainable.


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How to Cite

Gehrke, C., & Hansen-Magnusson, H. (2024). Tales from the frontier of sustainable global connectivity: A typology of Arctic tourism workers. Journal of Arctic Tourism, 2. https://doi.org/10.33112/arctour.2.1



Journal articles