Searching for sensitivity - Tourism and culture in Greenland

  • Ren, C. (Lecturer)
  • Daniela Chimirri (Lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


Tourism is a relatively new and slowly growing sector in Greenland. However, its further growth carries the potential to impact the representation and commercialization of Inuit and Greenlandic cultural and everyday lives in often small and remote communities – in a negative as well as positive way.

As part of the ARCTISEN project, which explores and develops culturally sensitive tourism in the Arctic, we asked Greenlandic actors within tourism (DMOs, entrepreneurs), cultural institutions (museums, cultural houses) and cultural industries (arts, music) to deliberate on their perceived ties between tourism and culture in Greenland.

During these conversations, many actors expressed skepticism and incomprehension towards the concept of cultural sensitivity. The material generated insights into the unwillingness to self-label as indigenous, rather using the term of Greenlander as a meaningful, although also contested (national) identity from where to talk about culture and its multifarious links to tourism.

The material adds to the ongoing exploration of Arctic indigeneity and its role in culturally sensitive tourism as highly situated. One question is whether, how and what tourism actors across the Arctic can learn from each other in relation to future Arctic tourism development. Another question is how in this search for better Arctic tourism futures, adapting for different ways to sensitively explore the relationship between tourism and culture can be cultivated.
Period24 Oct 2019
Degree of RecognitionInternational