Ensuring community engagement in cruise tourism development

July 8th, 2020

AECO – Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators has been awarded NOK 223 000 from the Research Council of Norway. This will contribute towards a project to ensure local community engagement and involvement in Arctic cruise tourism development.  

The project is built in the light of AECO’s Community Engagement Program, and aims to implement innovative and collaborative frameworks to engage communities, stakeholders, visitors and tourist operators in Svalbard and across the Arctic, with the common goal of ensuring that expedition cruise tourism in the Arctic is carried out in partnership and dialogue with local stakeholders. 

The heart of the project lies in collaboration and working with local communities.  The project will meet the objectives of sustainable expedition cruise development and the funding will be used to establish a larger initiative coming up in November. 

Svalbard. Photo by Marcela Cardena

‘AECO’s objective is to ensure sustainable tourism in the Arctic, and to ensure that the tourism activities out members undertake are environmentally friendly, safe, considerate and beneficial. This funding is very motivating for our effort to ensure dialogue and collaboration with local communities,’ says AECOs Community Engagement Specialist, Ann Eileen Lennert .

The aim of the main project is a significant contribution to increased value creation for both the expedition cruise industry, local communities and stakeholders. With an emphasis on community engagement the project will contribute to developing mutual benefits relevant for the three pillars of sustainability: including circular economic development, social responsibility, and sustainability. 

This has been made possible with funding from the Research Council of Norway.