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Public lecture: Tourism-led economic strategies in the ultra-periphery: a cautionary tale


Public lecture about Tourism-led economic strategies in the ultra-periphery: a cautionary tale - by Dimitri Ioannides PhD, European Tourism Research Institute, Mid-Sweden University and Pär Olausson, PhD, Department of Social Sciences, Mid-Sweden University.

Tourism is often touted as an effective tool for generating economic growth and diversification in peripheral economic regions. This is especially the case in remote ultra-peripheral regions, including many parts of the Arctic, which often face major challenges linked to declining primary extractive sectors, weak transportation links to markets and nested peripherality, as well as rapid depopulation. On the plus side, the barriers to entry into the tourism sector are relatively low, allowing opportunities for entrepreneurship and job creation. On the negative side, issues such as extreme seasonality, the association of the sector with low-skill and low paid jobs, and economic leakages arising from an extreme dependency on exogenous operators often limit tourism’s potential for these areas. 

In this presentation, we focus specifically on three challenges that limit tourism’s potential to revive peripheral economies. First, the extreme fragmentation that characterizes the sector (it is composed of numerous stakeholders) means that it is hard to develop a consensus as to an effective policy that promotes sustainable options for development. Second, ambiguous and misplaced governance initiatives and the overwhelming tendency by some policymakers to misunderstand the complexity of the tourism phenomenon can lead to many potential traps. Third, there is evidence that in regions that have traditionally relied on primary extractive activities (such as mining or fishing) it is extremely hard to shift into a service economy, including tourism. 

We will end the presentation by asking the audience to briefly prepare in groups their own rough vision statements regarding Nuuk’s potential as a tourism destination.   


When: Friday 22 September at 19.00 - 21.00

Where: auditorium at Ilisimatusarfik campus Ilimmarfik


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