How do local conflicts affect Sami tourism?

Indigenous tourism has become an important component of the tourism industry. Researcher Lise Smed Olsen from Nordregio published an article in Polar Geography on how Sami tourism is affected by conflicts, but also collaboration.

Indigenous tourism has become an important component of the tourism industry. Previous indigenous tourism research has indicated three conflict areas that can have an impact on destination development: internal conflicts over indigenous identity, the use of indigenous culture in destination marketing, and land-use conflicts. To varying degrees these areas of conflict have been found to impact local and regional destination development in northern Europe. This paper draws on case studies to understand how conflicts in Sami tourism in local and regional destination development are addressed through stakeholder collaboration in Jokkmokk, Sweden and Kautokeino, Norway. The study indicates that collaboration between destination marketing organizations and Sami stakeholders has been initiated and has improved destination marketing. Conflicts relating to indigenous identity and land-use are more challenging to address through collaboration due to the history of colonization by nation states. Such prevailing conflicts place certain requirements on the facilitator of collaboration processes in tourism destination development.

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Lise Smed Olsen

Research Fellow