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Nascent island tourism policy development in Greenland : A network perspective

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Author list: Ioannides, Dimitri;Olausson, Pär M.;Petridou, Evangelia
Publication year: 2019
ISSN: 1715-2593

Abstract

Following its achievement of Self-Rule status in 2009 Greenland embarked on a series of measures to diversify its economy with an eye towards eventually gaining full independence from Denmark. Tourism was underlined as a key sector for reaching this goal and, consequently, over the last few years there has been a concerted effort to develop the island as an important polar destination. Significantly, the Greenlandic government created the tourism development policy for 2016-2020, which it views as a key instrument for shaping the sector’s future. In this paper, we adopted a policy network approach to determine the relational architecture among various stakeholders from the public and private sectors who are seen as relevant to tourism’s development. Inter alia, we examined how these actors were linked to each other while examining what kind of tourism networks existed in Greenland and what obstacles might hinder or foster their formation. A thematic analysis of qualitative data on Atlas.ti reveals that though there exist networks in the Greenlandic tourism sector, they are not policy networks and that the Greenlandic government’s approach to developing this tourism policy has been top-down, reflecting a ‘government’ rather than a ‘governance’ approach. Barriers to the formation of policy networks included lack of a shared image for the future; lack of trust among actors; lack of time and spatial fragmentation hindering iterative interactions, and lack of institutional enabling of information and knowledge sharing.


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