Making Sense of Sustainable Tourism on the Periphery: Perspectives from Greenland

Elizabeth Cooper

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This exploratory study presents Greenland as a case of a peripheral destination that complicates and contradicts global definitions of sustainable tourism. Using empirical data that consists of 39 semi-structured interviews, the author employs an inductive approach to discuss the conceptualisation of sustainable tourism according to local stakeholders in Greenland. The key points of conflict surrounding sustainable tourism in Greenland are identified and discussed, with a focus on how local stakeholders contradict each other, and on how the debates prevalent at the local scale can inform tourism development in other peripheral places. The paper contributes to academic literature by offering a deeper understanding of how core-periphery dynamics can influence perceptions of and priorities for sustainable tourism in peripheral places. It benefits the industry by exposing the main debates around the issue of sustainable tourism in Greenland, which can be used to inform the nation’s tourism development
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1303-1321
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 14 December 2022.


  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Arctic tourism
  • Peripherality
  • Stakeholder perspectives
  • Greenland
  • Peripheral global north
  • Global south
  • Indigenous tourism
  • Core-periphery

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