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  • Writer's pictureJosé-Carlos García-Rosell

Why study a Master in tourism at the University of Lapland

Updated: Apr 4, 2021

The current pandemic has shown the importance of tourism for the economy and society in general. It has also shown us that there is an urgent need for professionals to build a stronger, more responsible and resilient tourism industry. Indeed, the crisis has been portrayed as a possibility to develop more sustainable tourism futures. Responsible tourism matters more than ever!

TourCIM and NoTo group picture fall semester 2020 (photo by our student Vanessa Hylton)

The University of Lapland offers two international Master's degree programmes in tourism: Tourism, Culture and International Management (TourCIM) and Northern Tourism (NoTo). While TourCIM has been running since 2011, NoTo was launched in 2018 in cooperation with four other Nordic universities. In both programmes, the focus on responsible tourism starts from day one. Finland has one of the leading higher education systems in the world and Lapland is probably one of the best places to study tourism in Europe. Here five reasons why:

Tourism education since 1994

The University of Lapland is a pioneer and trailblazer in terms of tourism education in Finland. It was the first Finnish university to offer a degree programme in tourism. The programme was launched in the fall semester of 1994 and since 2000 the name of the degree has been tourism research. Nowadays, there are several Finnish universities offering study programmes in tourism. Nevertheless, the University of Lapland is still the only Finnish university, where tourism can be studied as a major. When you graduate from one of our international programmes TourCIM or NoTo, you will hold a Master of Social Sciences in Tourism Research.

It's about responsible tourism

The tourism research degree of the University of Lapland has a long tradition in responsible and sustainable tourism research. This is one of the main reasons why responsible tourism is one of the key strategic strengths of the University of Lapland. Indeed, our work reflects a societal need to understand tourism in a broader economic, social, cultural, environmental, and political context. To that end, we combine different research areas within tourism research, sociology and business studies. The University of Lapland's strategic research profile in responsible tourism is currently supported by Profi funding from the Academy of Finland. The funding supports and speeds up our efforts to develop new practices that help promote greater sustainability in tourism.

Studying in a Living Lab

TourCIM and NoTo take place in a real-live context in partnership with the tourism industry, public organizations, nonprofit organizations, local communities, and other stakeholders. Educational activities are stronlgy connected to research and development projects working towards more responsible tourism practices. Examples of these projects include: Responsibility and Value Creation in the Sharing Economy, Intra-Living in the Anthropocene, Animals and Responsible Tourism and Culturally Sensitive Tourism in the Arctic. In addition, our programmes are supported by two Finnish companies leading the way in responsible tourism: Harriniva and Beyond Arctic. The bottom line is that we are passionate about doing research that makes a difference and have an impact on society.

One of the world's leading tourism destination

Lapland is currently one of the fastest-growing tourism regions in the Nordic countries. Over the last couple of years, international travel has increased triggering new development projects in tourist resorts and other recreational areas. In 2019, the number of overnight stays was 3 million and air passenger 1.4 million. As a tourism destination, Lapland attracts tourists from around the world, particularly in the winter season between December and March. Tourists engage in winter activities such as viewing the northern lights, driving snowmobiles, visiting Santa Claus, and riding reindeer sleighs and dog sleds. Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, was featured as the best winter destination in Europe by Lonely Planet in 2020. Lapland is the perfect place to observe tourism as an economic and socio-cultural phenomenon.

It's above ordinary

Life in Rovaniemi is above ordinary and our students have the opportunity to experience it during their time at the University of Lapland. Rovaniemi is a vibrant Nordic city surronded by beautiful Arctic wilderness. There is an extensive network of tracks for biking, sking, snow shoeing or just hiking under the magical northern lights in the winter and astonishing mid-night sun in the summer. There is also plenty of cultural activities for culture lovers. To know more about Rovaniemi and Lapland check out Visit Rovaniemi and Lapland Above Ordinary

Welcome to follow us in Facebook and Instagram. Through Instagram you can get in touch with our students to talk more about studying tourism at the University of Lapland.

Photo by our student Mikhail Sinitcyn.


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