Cultural sensitivity in Sámi tourism: A systematic literature review in the Finnish context

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The use of Sámi cultures in the Finnish tourism business has been problematic for many decades. The aim of this article is to explore how the notion of cultural sensitivity could help to find alternative approaches and new solutions to this situation, especially for Sámi tourism. For this purpose, a systematic literature review method was used to examine and describe how previous academic literature has approached the issue of cultural sensitivity in the Finnish context. While the concept has not been used in tourism research in Finland, previous discussions have focused on questions of respect, cultural sustainability, cultural carrying capacity, cultural representations and cultural identity in tourism contexts. Simultaneously, research in other fields of study has drawn attention to the importance of healing, reconciliation and recognition for Sámi cultures. Reviewing the social work and pedagogy literature indicates how the idea of cultural sensitivity can enrich the search for more responsible ways of thinking, doing and researching tourism. In sum, the article calls for future research, theoretical conceptualization and practical application of cultural sensitivity that emphasizes recognition of and respect for cultural differences.

Keywords: cultural sensitivity, respect, tourism, Sámi cultures, Finland
Translated title of the contributionKulttuurisensitiivisyys saamelaismatkailussa: Suomea koskeva systemaattinen kirjallisuuskatsaus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-110
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • cultural sensitivity
  • respect
  • tourism
  • Sámi cultures
  • Finland

Field of science

  • Tourism research


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