Intensive Online Seminar Week

Dive with us into the different aspects of tourism responsibility! The Intensive Online Seminar Week in March introduces you to the special themes with keynote speeches, lectures, discussions, and workshops. Join us to get a Nordic approach to responsible tourism and share your thoughts and experiences in workshops and discussions.

Two hikers in Pyhä-Häkki national park

Intensive Online Seminar Week 18-22 March 2024

The Intensive Online Seminar Week is organized on Zoom from Monday 18th March to Friday 22nd March. Thought-provoking and inclusive programme is planned in the afternoons from 2 pm to 5 pm Finnish time (UTC +2).

By registering, you get to participate in the whole week's programme or choose the sessions you want to join. See the programme below and get to know the speakers and guests of the week!

Seminar Week Programme

Monday 18 March: Responsible Tourism and Climate Actions

  • 14.00 Introduction of the Seminar Week | Petra Blinnikka, Jamk University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • 14.15 Introduction to Responsible Tourism | Harold Goodwin, The International Centre for Responsible Tourism
  • 14.45 Break
  • 14.55 Responsible Tourism & Climate Change | Harold Goodwin, The International Centre for Responsible Tourism
  • 15.25 Questions and Discussion | Harold Goodwin
  • 15.35 Sustainable Travel Finland | Hanna Muoniovaara, Visit Finland
  • 15.55 Break
  • 16.05 Climate Action | Liisa Kokkarinen, Visit Finland
  • 16.25 Workshop 
  • 16.50 Summary of the first day

Tuesday 19 March: Accessibility and the Potential Gains it Brings

  • 14.00 Introduction of the theme and speakers of the day | Kajsa Åberg, Region Västerbotten Turism (Sweden)
  • 14.20 Universal design - An alternative way of growth based on equality and inclusion. What conditions may be needed? | Lina Nilsson, Funktionsrätt Västerbotten (Sweden)
  • 14.50 Break
  • 15.00 Access to nature through nature-based tourism | Kristin Godtman Kling, Mid Sweden University
  • 15.30 Accessibility measures in practice | Kajsa Åberg, Region Västerbotten Turism (Sweden)
  • 16.00 Break
  • 16.10 Breaking out into groups for questions and discussions
  • 16.45 Reassemble for summary in plenum

Wednesday 20 March: Ethical Challenges in the Tourism Industry

  • 14.00 Introduction of the theme and speakers of the day | Åsa Helen Grahn, University of Stavanger (Norway)
  • 14.10 Tourism's Paradox: Unveiling Ethical Challenges and the Quest for More Responsibility in the Industry | Åsa Helen Grahn, University of Stavanger (Norway)
  • 14.30 Shared ethics – the case of corporate volunteering in nature tourism | Anne-Mette Hjalager, University of Southern Denmark
  • 15.00 Break
  • 15.15 Sustainability transformations as a caring and empathetic understanding | Ioanna Farsari, Dalarna University (Sweden)
  • 16.15 Workshop/Discussion

Thursday 21 March: Responsible Tourism in Practice

  • 14.00 Introduction of the theme and speakers of the day | Guðrún Þóra Gunnarsdóttir, Icelandic Tourism Research Centre
  • 14.10 Responsible tourism - The business perspective. The case of Hólar. | Gústaf Gústafsson, Hólar University (Iceland)
  • 14.40 Break
  • 14.50 The Icelandic Tourism Cluster: A declaration on responsible tourism. | Ásta Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir, Icelandic Tourism Cluster
  • 15.20 Break
  • 15.30 Workshop/ Discussion: Responsible community based tourism | Jessica Aquino, Hólar University (Iceland)

Friday 22 March: Responsible Tourism's Future

  • 14.00 Introduction of the theme and speakers of the day | Petra Blinnikka, Jamk University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • 14.10 Responsibility communication in tourism| Katja Pasanen, University of Eastern Finland
  • 14.40 Break
  • 14.50 Concepts of Regenerative tourism & Transformative tourism | Elli Vento, University of Eastern Finland
  • 15.15 Voluntourism in the Context of Community-Based Tourism, and Regenerative Tourism: A Theoretical Exploration Focusing on Responsibility | Rositsa Röntynen & Minna Tunkkari-Eskelinen, Jamk University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • 15.35 Break
  • 15.45 Panel Discussion: Tourism tomorrow | Guðrún Þóra Gunnarsdóttir, Icelandic Tourism Research Centre
    • Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, Project leader, Iceland Tourism Cluster and owner of Sóti summits
    • Kristof Tomej, Associate professor at the Centre for Tourism, Innovation and Culture, University of Southern Denmark
    • Kristina N. Lindstrøm, Associate Professor at the Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger
    • Anu Nylund, Founder & Good mood creator of Mood of Finland
  • 16.45 Summary of the week

The programme is subject to change.

The Speakers and Guests of the Week

Below, you will find introductions of each day's speakers and guests.

Monday 18 March

  • Harold Goodwin, ICRT Hub (UK)

Dr Harold Goodwin is the Founder and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) which he founded in 2002 and co-chaired the side event at the WSSD on Responsible Tourism in Destinations and drafted the Cape Town Declaration. With two decades of experience around the world, he wrote the 2022 Responsible Tourism Charter which was launched and signed on Magna Carta Island. He is an adviser to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

He has worked on 4 continents with local communities, their governments, and the inbound and outbound tourism industry. He is a Professor Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership, and adviser to the World Travel Market on its Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London, Africa and Arabian Travel Market. He chairs the panels of judges for the Global Responsible Tourism Awards and the other Awards in the family in Africa, and India.

Harold researches on tourism, local economic development and poverty reduction, conservation and responsible tourism working with the industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists. He also undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations.

  • Liisa Kokkarinen, Visit Finland (Finland)

Liisa Kokkarinen is Visit Finland's leading expert in sustainable development, and she is passionate about using tourism as a catalyst for better. At Visit Finland she is behind Visit Finland’s Climate Action Plan and heads the national Sustainable Travel Finland program, a low tress-hold development program to assist Finnish travel companies and destinations to adapt sustainable practices. The goal is ambitious; making sustainable, low carbon travel the norm. 

Experienced and educated in Arctic matters and sustainable development, Liisa is always seeking solutions to decarbonise, reduce inequalities and ways to leave places better. Liisa firmly believes, that investing in climate action and sustainable tourism secures the long-term viability of the entire industry, creates profoundly positive impact, and ensures the continued happiness for everyone - now and in the future.

  • Hanna Muoniovaara, Visit Finland (Finland)

Hanna Muoniovaara has been working in tourism for over 15 years and has extensive experience in working in tourism development. Hanna has been with Visit Finland for almost seven years and has been in the sustainability team within Visit Finland for the past 4 years.

"It has been really motivating to see the change in people and in the business environment working in sustainability in these past 4 years. It’s good to remember that working on these matters is a marathon not a sprint but it’s the only way to keep going," Hanna says.

Tuesday 19 March

  • Kajsa Åberg, Region Västerbotten Tourism (Sweden)

Kajsa holds a PhD in human geography with additional academic engagement in museology and heritage studies. Paired with her background as a tourism entrepreneur and current position as a tourism strategist at the regional development organization, her theoretical endeavours and practice focus on initiating and strengthening bridges between academia, practitioners and policy.

  • Kristin Godtman Kling, Mid Sweden University (Sweden)

Kristin Godtman Kling works as a post-doc researcher at the tourism research institute ETOUR at Mid Sweden University. Her research positions nature-based tourism in the context of social justice, thus addressing how groups in society experience different access to tourism. Kristin’s works also address how different actors may collaborate to handle emerging conflicts in regards to use and conservation of land in relation to tourism and enhanced access to nature.

  • Lina Nilsson, Funktionsrätt Västerbotten (Sweden)

Lina Nilsson has a Master's degree in tourism and human geography at Umeå University (2021). She is engaged in social issues concerning disability rights, community development and business development, preferably in a common context. Lina was responsible for the 2022 publication of the report Universal accessibility in tourism in Västerbotten, by the regional disability rights federation (Funktionsrätt Västerbotten).

Wednesday 20 March

  • Åsa Helen Grahn, University of Stavanger (Norway)

Dr. Åsa Grahn (PhD) is an Associate Professor at the University of Stavanger, Norwegian School of Hotel Management, Norway. With a breadth of experience in both the practical and academic realms of hospitality and tourism, she has gained a rich expertise in teaching, research, and industry engagement. Dr. Grahn's prior research has centered around sustainable and ethical tourism consumption. 

Currently, she is engaged in studying tourism practices within destinations, with a specific focus on regional collaboration, particularly within the realm of social responsibilities. Through her teaching and research, Dr. Grahn aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics shaping responsible tourism practices. Additionally, she serves as a reviewer for various academic publications, including journals, edited books, and conferences.

  • Anne-Mette Hjalager, University of Southern Denmark (Denmark)

Introduction coming soon!

  • Ioanna Farsari, Dalarna University (Sweden)

Ioanna Farsari is Associate Professor at Dalarna University, Sweden. In her research she undertakes a complex adaptive systems perspective in destination governance, development and collaboration for sustainable tourism. She is also interested in education for sustainability, climate change and tourism, and sustainability transformations research. 

Ioanna has long experience on sustainable development projects and she is coordinating the Climate Change and Tourism Research Special Interest Group of ATLAS (Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research). She is also an engaged teacher with long experience in teaching sustainable tourism at both undergraduate and graduate level and works actively with Education for Sustainability.

Thursday 21 March

  • Gústaf Gústafsson, Hólar University (Iceland)

Gústaf Gústafsson is an Adjunct at the Rural Tourism Department at Hólar University. He received his master´s degree in Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Beckett University and is working towards his PhD at the same institute. Gústaf Gústafsson is a manager, teacher, and researcher with over 25 years of experience in marketing, events, tourism, and hospitality in the non-profit and private sectors.

  • Ásta Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir, Iceland Tourism Cluster (Iceland)

Ásta Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir is CEO of the Iceland Tourism Cluster that is a business-driven organization with members from all over the value chain of Tourism and travel . The cluster focuses on promoting competitiveness and value creation within the Icelandic tourism industry. The focus areas of the Cluster is sustainability towards regenerative tourism, innovation, digital solutions and global connections.

Asta has worked with companies of all sizes for the last 15 years focusing on business development and innovation. She has worked as a business advisor in one of the national bank, manager for development and innovation for the development Centre of East Iceland and now managing the Tourism Cluster on a national level. She also sits in the board of TCI network, the global cluster organization and works with various cluster managers in all kind of industries all over the world.

Ásta Kristin has a BSc in International Business and Marketing from the University of Reykjavík and an IMPA certificate in project management, various training in strategy implementation, sustainability, circular economy, regenerative Tourism strategies, management, marketing, and leadership.

  • Jessica Aquino, Hólar University (Iceland)

Dr. Jessica Aquino is an Associate Professor at Hólar University and an Academic Fellow to the Teaching Academy of Public Universities, Iceland. Her research interests are in placed-based pedagogies, community development; sustainable tourism and responsible tourism practices. Jessica leads the Nordic Regenerative Tourism research group for NorReg

Friday 22 March

  • Katja Pasanen, University of Eastern Finland (Finland)

Katja Pasanen (D. Sc.) is a project manager at the Business School of the University of Eastern Finland in the tourism business research group. She has worked on numerous regional, national, and international tourism research and development projects for over 15 years. Pasanen is particularly interested in producing industry-relevant research. She is particularly interested in topics related to responsible tourism and responsibility communication. 

The title of her doctoral dissertation was “Convincing Responsibility Communication in Marketing Communication of a Rural Tourism Company”. She is currently working on projects that explore transformative and regenerative tourism.

  • Elli Vento, University of Eastern Finland (Finland)

Elli Vento is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Eastern Finland. Her research interests are related to well-being tourism research. Previously, she have analyzed well-being outcomes of tourism among disadvantaged customer groups in the context of social tourism, as well as motivational factors and service preferences of wellness tourists. Currently, she is working on two research projects that examine, respectively, the outcomes and potential of transformative tourism and regenerative nature tourism.

  • Rositsa Röntynen, Jamk University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

Rositsa Röntynen (MSc, PhD candidate) is a Lecturer in tourism and hospitality in the School of Business at Jamk University of Applied Sciences, Finland. In addition to teaching, she has worked in research, development, and innovation, leading various projects in the fields of tourism and higher education. She has also held different expert positions in regard to nature and rural tourism, responsible tourism and digital education.

  • Minna Tunkkari-Eskelinen, Jamk University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

Minna Tunkkari-Eskelinen (PhD) is a Principal Lecturer in tourism and hospitality in the School of Business at Jamk University of Applied Sciences. She has worked in the field of responsible tourism, in research, teaching and tourism industry development activities. She has also done research on entrepreneurial pedagogy, rural tourism, and family businesses.

  • Guðrún Þóra Gunnarsdóttir, Icelandic Tourism Research Centre (Iceland)

Guðrún Þóra is the Director of the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre (ITRC) and has a long experience in teaching and researching tourism. Her research interests have focused on tourism in rural areas with a particular focus on destination development and tourism impact on community development.

  • Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, Iceland Tourism Cluster and Sóti summits (Iceland)

Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir is the former Dir. Gen. of the Icelandic Tourism Board, former Vice-President of the European Travel Commission responsible for sustainability advocacy and worked as Director of Destination Management within large tourism development projects in Saudi Arabia. Since 2022, she has led the Nordic Regenerative Tourism project, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, on behalf of the Iceland Tourism Cluster.

  • Kristof Tomej, University of Southern Denmark (Denmark)

Kristof Tomej, PhD, is associate professor at the Centre for Tourism, Innovation and Culture, University of Southern Denmark in Kolding, Denmark. His research expertise is in sustainable tourism development as well as on accessibility and inclusivity in tourism. Together with his colleagues, he works on ensuring and fostering the long-term inclusion of tourism's contributions to sustainable development, not least through regenerative thinking and principles.

  • Kristina N. Lindstrøm, University of Stavanger (Norway)

With a Ph.D. in human geography from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and, over 20 years of research in human geography and tourism, my main research interests revolve around place development in the wake of tourism. I am particularly dedicated to the challenging role of tourism as a strategy in the sustainability transition, specifically public tourism governance, and research – practice co-creation.

  • Anu Nylund, Mood of Finland (Finland)

Anu Nylund is a professional who has worked in the tourism industry for more than 25 years in very diverse positions in Finland and in Spain. Anu has specialized in responsible tourism and regenerative thinking and has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences (Tourism research). 

Anu has been a full-time entrepreneur for six years and her strength is said to be the ability to apply academic knowledge to the concrete action. Her own company is an excellent platform for e.g. designing regenerative concepts. Anu was a finalist for 2023 Finland's Responsible Tourism Operator and the company's Love Forest Finland concept is a nominee of the Scandinavian Outdoor Award 2024 in the Best Sustainability Concept -category.

For further inquiries, please contact

Riitta Koivisto

Asiantuntija, Specialist
Matkailu ja palvelut, Tourism and Service Business
Liiketoiminta, School of Business