An international consortium led by the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, has started the Scientific Tourism project (SCITOUR) aiming to create a new tourism concept that focuses on increasing scientific knowledge in tourism experiences. The project will work towards developing a general concept for incorporating science in tourism experiences. Project partners are from Iceland, Scotland and Greenland.
The project will develop the scientific tourism concept, model products, guidelines to develop science based tourism products, a scientific tourism brand and marketing strategy, a scientific tourism network and supporting digital infrastructure. The main launch conference will be held in February 2022, where the new scientific tourism concept will be presented.
Project manager Ari Laakso from Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, finds a need for the project from the fact that people travel around the world to see and to experience new cultures, beautiful and interesting places, taste exotic foods and engage in fun activities.
“At the same time, many want more knowledge about what they see and experience, to better understand and also to learn. Often, tourists will visit a museum, a science centre or a culturally interesting venue to learn more about different phenome and areas, but why not take this a step further?”, he asks.
“What if we combine tourism and science together, to create a new tourism concept focusing on utilizing and communicating science and doing this in a fun and hands-on fashion, exploring a certain topic or place. Scientists have always travelled remote places to study and to do research. In the same way, tourists travel to remote destinations to experience something different”, Laakso says.
The SCITOUR project is co-funded by the EU funded Northern Periphery and the Arctic Programme 2014-2020, University of Lapland, University of Iceland, University of the Highlands and the Islands in Scotland and Greenland National Museum. In addition, there are 26 associate partners affiliated to the project, mainly tourism entrepreneurs and tourism marketing associations.
SCITOUR is a two-year project that started the 1.5.2020. The total budget is about one million euros.
Current pandemia has more or less stopped international tourism but the project partners believe that the demand for individual travel and scientific tourism concept will remain strong once the recovery starts.
“We welcome both existing tourism entrepreneurs and scientist to contact us if the SCITOUR project seems interesting”, says project manager Laakso.
Photo: Ari Laakso
SCITOUR Project Manager
Mr Ari Laakso
University of Lapland/Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi, Finland