I am a Danish researcher specializing in tourism development and cultural innovation. I am originally trained as an Ethnologist at the University of Copenhagen and have a PhD in Tourism from the University of Southern Denmark. Today, I am associate professor at Aalborg University in Denmark and affiliated with the Center for Innovation and Research on Culture and Living in the Arctic (CIRCLA).
Whether prompted by discourses of climate change or geo-political interests, we are currently witnessing a dramatic tourism interest in Greenland – further prompted by the recent expressed interest of American President Donald Trump to buy Greenland. While tourism numbers are still modest in comparison to neighboring Iceland and the Nordic Arctic, the interest and expected growth in Greenland is leading to plans and initiatives to develop tourism infrastructure and businesses. This has created an acute need for more knowledge on tourism as a social, economic and environmental phenomenon and on how tourism affects and alters communities as they transform into tourist destinations.
Through research projects on tourism development and with a particular focus on capacity building, knowledge collaboration, community-based tourism and entrepreneurship in Greenlandic and Arctic tourism, I research these processes in collaboration with Arctic researchers, communities and entrepreneurs. The research adds to our understanding of barriers and challenges in creating social and cultural responsible tourism and will hopefully help improve the odds for the many inspiring and creative start-ups and micro companies currently working to build better businesses – and with that better communities – in Arctic tourism.
To learn more on how tourism can become ‘more than an industry’ to Arctic communities: https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/arctic-tourism-industry/
…and how nature and culture interweaves in Greenlandic tourism: https://blogi.eoppimispalvelut.fi/arctisen/2019/05/03/tourism-nature-and-culture-in-greenland-telling-and-selling-a-story-of-many-ties/
A sample of my publications:
Ren, Carina., & Bjørst, L. R. (2017). “Cold facts, hot topics and uncertain futures: Political and industry responses to climate changes in Greenland.” In D. DellaSalla, & M. Goldstein (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene (1. ed., pp. 501-503). Elsevier.
Ren, Carina, & Rasmussen, R. K. (2017). “‘Future Games’: Enacting Innovation in Greenland.” Arctic Yearbook, 2017, 247-258.
Ren, Carina. (2016). “Cool or hot Greenland? Exhibiting and enacting sustainable Arctic futures.” Journal of Cleaner Production, 111(Part B): 442-450.
Bjørst, L. R., & Ren, Carina. (2015). “Steaming up or staying cool? Tourism Development and Greenlandic Futures in the Light of Climate Change.” Arctic Anthropology, 52(1): 91-101.