Svalbard 1
Foto: Bjørn Klauer /

Sustainable tourism in Svalbard – a Balancing Act

The Reserach Council of Norway
Led by
Nordland Research Institute

This project will increase our knowledge of how the local tourism industry can create new opportunities as they respond to the ongoing transformative changes of Svalbard’s society and environment and contribute to the development of the analytical concepts of transformation and adaptation. 

The project is a collaboration between two key Svalbard tourism operators - Arctic Expedition Cruise Operator and Visit Svalbard - and research institutions Nordland Research Institute, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Western Norway Research Institute, Vetani, Sweden, Brown University, USA. 

Arctic tourism is growing rapidly and is often seen as an economic opportunity. However, the directions of future development cannot be taken for granted as the growth takes place in the context of changing geopolitical conditions, growing global interest in the economic potential of the Arctic, and increasing environmental concerns, especially linked to climate change. Svalbard tourism illustrates many of the circumpolar challenges related to tourism and this project aims to provide knowledge of how the local tourism industry can create new opportunities as they respond to the ongoing transformative changes of Svalbard’s society and environment. 

Balancing Act workshop in Longyearbyen October 2022