UNESCO and beyond - Whose voices are heard? And how? A case study on local participation and sustainable tourism development in Sarfannguit, Greenland
AuthorSøndergaard, Marie Louise
In 2018, a large area in western Greenland, close to the Arctic Circle, was inscribed on the UNESCO’s Heritage Site list. The site is now known as Aasivissuit – Nipisat - Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea. The small settlement Sarfannguit is situated within this site. The settlement is one out of seven key sites within the UNESCO site, making the place an attraction, yet the question remains: Will the locals benefit from this possible increase of tourism? Through my exploratory ethnographic approach, I have aimed to gain a better understanding of to what extent the locals in Sarfannguit have been involved in the planning of tourism activities in this area. My research involved participant observation, semi- and unstructured interviews and a community meeting in Sarfannguit. I followed up with re-visiting the community and organized two new community meetings/workshops in both Sarfannguit and Sisimiut. This thesis undertakes a discourse analysis, focusing on key narratives about local participation and sustainable development in Qeqqata Municipality. Critical discourse analysis mixed with storylines reveal that considerable power is embedded in structured ways of seeing and experiencing a certain situation. These narratives form part of a pattern that frames the ongoing initiatives which have taken place before and during my fieldwork. Insights gained from my work might contribute to forming sustainable tourism development in the region. I argue that local participation is essential in the development process in order for this new UNESCO site to become a successful and sustainable tourism attraction in Greenland.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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