Cultural Sensitivity: Engaging difference in tourism

Arvid Viken, Emily Höckert, Bryan Grimwood

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Cultural sensitivity is highly relevant but inadequately conceptualized in tourism contexts. This article explores and advances understanding of cultural sensitivity in relation to Arctic tourism where local and Indigenous livelihoods and environments are tethered to dynamics of recent tourism growth and decline, climate change, and colonial power relations. Framing cultural sensitivity as a subjective orientation towards otherness, the article illuminates differences between ethnocentric and ethnorelative orientations and discusses the importance of relational tourism processes. By advancing the conceptualization of cultural sensitivity, the article offers a framework for developing tourism services and products, and approaching tourism encounters, in ways that can enhance recognition, respect and reciprocity towards otherness in Arctic tourism and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103223
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Otherness
  • Tourism encounters
  • Indigenous tourism
  • arctic

Field of science

  • Tourism research


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