“Culturally Sensitive Tourism in the Arctic” (ARCTISEN) is a three-year, collaborative partnership involving tourism stakeholders from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark/Greenland, and Canada. The aims of the ARCTISEN project are to co-create knowledge about cultural sensitivity and build relationships that support businesses and communities in developing tourism products and services that are respectful of the Arctic’s rich natural and cultural resources (ARCTISEN, 2020). Between 2018 and 2021, project activities focused on management and communications, and three thematic work packages: 1) building understanding of culturally sensitive tourism practices, 2) enhancement of entrepreneurial capacities for culturally sensitive tourism; and 3) development of a culturally sensitive tourism business cluster. The purpose of this presentation is to synthesize and critically reflect on the Canadian ARCTISEN team experiences of co-creating knowledge and relationship-building within this international tourism partnership. Our objectives are to:
- Describe Canadian ARCTISEN activities and lessons learned, focusing primarily on how the partnership supported relationship-building;
- Explain opportunities, challenges, and failures of working within the partnership, including how COVID-19 has required project priorities and activities to be adapted;
- Identify potential strategies and limitations of cultural sensitivity as concept and practice to integrate in Arctic and Indigenous tourism in Canada and future tourism research.