Multispecies Hospitality – MESH
Funded by Academy of Finland Profi7 for 2023-2028
MESH develops transdisciplinary hospitality research through developing multispecies approaches to sustainability issues within tourism contexts. The profiling area addresses more-than-human ethical struggles simultaneously in an attempt to attend to inequalities and injustices without putting the human at the centre stage. Rather than taking individual entities or species as units of research, multispecies research is interested in how human and nonhuman communities welcome and care for one another. Moreover, the multispecies approach sets out to disrupt the homogenising and generalising conceptions of the “Human” by emphasising the diverse ways in which human lives unfold in different situations and places. By focusing on particularities, MESH teases out how environmental impacts, risks and injustices are unequally divided between species, kinds, and regions. Importantly, the research in the project aims at enhancing curiosity and attentiveness to diverse ways of being and knowing in tourism settings – and beyond.
Re-Imagining Tourism Economies
University of Lapland Strategic Funding for 2022–2024
Re-imagining Tourism Economies forms part of the Arctic World Political Imaginations (ARCI) research stream at the University of Lapland which grasps the escalating environmental emergency by developing alternative imaginaries for a different future. The current environmental situation indicates that the prevailing tourism paradigm, based on human exceptionalism, exclusivity, growth imperative and travelling long distances, is ill-equipped, and falls short in addressing the ongoing ecological crisis. In tourism settings, this calls for disrupting, imagining and re-configuring our understandings of tourism in a way that attunes to human and non-human flourishing. Hence, the aim of this strand is to
theorise and develop the notion of multispecies tourism and its potential to work towards
more ecologically sound economic relations in the Arctic. It draws attention to existing empirical examples of tourism in the Arctic that enhance the experiential realisation of nature connectedness and relational well-being of more-than-human actors.
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Envisioning Proximity tourism with New Materialism
Funded by Academy of Finland for 1.9.2019-31.8.2023, led by University of Lapland.
In the project, we explore possibilities of proximity Tourism in the Arctic settings; a valuable alternative for global mass tourism that emphasizes local destinations, short distances and lower-carbon transport modes travel. Our empirical work focuses on visiting forests in Finnish Lapland, especially Pyhä-Luosto national park. More specifically, we develop a methodological approach called participatory more-than-human ethnography that enables knowing with and learning from non-human-nature. The project has potential to produce significant societal effects by advocating proximity tourism as an ecologically sound form of tourism. It provides a novel narrative that is based on mutual care between humans and other earthly creatures. For tourism businesses, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers working in tourist organizations and regional councils, the project offers conceptual tools and practical examples of proximity tourism. This helps them to recognize the value of proximity tourism and to design innovative local products.
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Funded by the Research Council of Norway for 1.6.2021-30.5.2025, led by UiT – the Arctic University of Norway.
The Nordic tradition of freedom to roam in landscapes, named Allemannsretten in Norway, is increasingly contested. Small-scale farmers in Norwegian periphery landscapes feel challenged by ever more people that “invade” their outfields to do new outdoor activities. One question that surface in conflicts, is what duties towards other people and vulnerable nature that accompany the rights of Allemannsretten. To illuminate the unclear duty aspect of Allemannsretten, the LOCUS-project explores local customs, understood as an informal «law» that determines «good behaviour» within the frames of Allemannsretten.
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Mobilities on the margins – creative processes of place making (MoM)
Funded by The Icelandic Research Fund for 1.05.2020-30.04.2023, led by University of Iceland.
This inter-disciplinary project examines how rural places often perceived at the margins, immobile and frozen in time, come into being and develop through interference of everyday mobilities and creative practices that cut across the spheres of culture and nature as usually defined. The project’s general objective is to explore two selected places in Iceland, the south-west corner of the Westfjords and Melrakkaslétta peninsula, regions considered as remote and fragile. Both are publicly perceived as having uncertain futures due to societal changes such as outmigration and decreasing role of traditional occupation in agriculture and fisheries, and thus in need of innovative solutions. In both cases tourism has come to the fore as a potential development option while other alternatives such as fish farming are also being developed.
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Funded by InterregNord and Regional Council of Lapland for 1.11.2020-30.09.2022, led by Natural Resources Institute Finland, LUKE.
In the post-COVID-19 situation, it is likely that we will see an increase in domestic tourism and cross-border tourism in the Nordic countries, since the tourists will be travelling increasingly to the nearby destinations instead of long distance travelling. Thus, the importance of Nordic proximity tourism will be highlighted. In addition, tourism trends show that tourists request for activities while travelling is increasing. The project aims, firstly, at mapping the suitable routes for cycling. Secondly, the task is to create a network of businesses on the routes and, thirdly, to make the ground work for connecting to already established and easily discoverable websites and to make plans for other marketing actions of the routes.