COVID-19 is having a profound effect on the tourism sector in the Cool North and as the industry starts to move into a resilient, post-pandemic recovery there is an opportunity to look at more sustainable or responsible tourist behavior and address sustainability challenges in peripheral and Arctic areas that have been intensified by the pandemic. This will be done in a new one-year NPA Clustering Project, ETRAC – Ethical Tourism Recovery in Arctic Communities.
The aim of ETRAC is to enable short-term business recovery while exploring options for a more culturally and locally sensitive tourism future. The partners will work with local SMEs, communities, DMOs, and other stakeholders to enable them to diversify the business, work collaboratively, acquire new skills or create new digital tourism streams. In doing so, the project aims to address challenges common across the project area, such as demographic issues related to the sparse population and peripherality and under-representation of Indigenous and other cultures in Arctic areas. The approach is to draw upon the collective experience of the lead partners from four previous or current NPA projects – ARCTISEN, W-POWER, SHAPE and SAINT – to share new approaches with an expanded network of end-users through a dynamic innovation platform.
In order to harness, enhance and synergise the lessons and outputs of the four participating projects ETRAC will have the following outputs:
- A report and recovery strategies synthesising knowledge, including updated data from the previous projects & new data gathering regarding SMEs’ experiences since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
- A platform for open innovation and training, adapted from the SHAPE e-service. This will include a) training/coaching modules, drawn from the 4 projects & open-access resources developed by partners, b) online benchmarking, peer-to-peer mentoring & other business support tools, and c) good practice/documented experiences.
- A series of digital end-user events, expanding the network to connect end-users and disseminating lessons and impacts from all 4 projects.
This eService will be a basis for the innovation platform, so please follow the updates. For further information about ETRAC, please contact project Lead Partner, Helena Puhakka-Tarvainen, Karelia UAS.