CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - 6th INTERNATIONAL POLAR TOURISM RESEARCH NETWORK (IPTRN) CONFERENCE AND COMMUNITY TOUR - Creative Forces in the Polar Regions: Culture, Economies, Innovation, and Change in Tourism

The 6th IPTRN conference – Creative Forces in the Polar Regions: Cultures, Economies, Innovations, and Change in Tourism – will follow the IPTRN community tour model. The conference will begin in Whitehorse and travel to several Yukon communities. In addition to papers and other presentations, participants will engage in community activities held in collaboration with local organisations and residents, and engage in a variety of Yukon visitor experiences.

Yukon Territory, Canada, June 22-28, 2018

The conference and community tour will engage participants by exploring and seeking solutions to polar tourism concerns and opportunities in relation to a variety of thematic areas, including: the cultural economy; economic diversification and community development; cultural and tourism entrepreneurship; social, cultural, and environmental impacts; tourism planning and development challenges and strategies; visitor experience innovations; and problem-solving in polar areas.

Past IPTRN conferences have examined economic development and environmental aspects of tourism in the polar world (see publication list at the end of this call). Papers presented at the 6th IPTRN conference are encouraged to explore how expectations toward tourism development in peripheral places contribute to the cultural wellbeing of peripheral communities and how cultural tourism can be managed to advance economic benefits, enhance our understanding of human/nature relationships, and protection of the natural environment.

To that end, the 6th IPTRN conference invites papers that examine:

  • Culture and cultural tourism, including policy
  • Parks, protected areas and cultural tourism
  • Winter tourism and cold weather cultures: attractions, visitors, opportunities and challenges
  • Indigenous culture and tourism
  • Community interactions with polar tourists
  • An inclusive Arctic – the role of arts, culture and tourism for demographic diversity (e.g., ethnic groups, the LGBTQ community)
  • Economic geographies of and innovation in polar tourism
  • The social and cultural construction of touristic polar places and spaces

While the conference has a specific focus, abstracts that examine any aspects of polar tourism are welcome.

Abstract Submission:

Abstracts should not exceed 300 words, should include full author(s) names and contact details, and should be submitted in Word format to the conference organisers via no later than October 31, 2017. We welcome abstracts for oral, poster or other forms of presentation (e.g., creative output such as music or art work, researcher/community-oriented workshops). Please clearly indicate the type of abstract you are submitting. Abstracts will undergo an external review process, and authors will be informed of the decision by November 30, 2017. Participants presenting papers will be invited to submit an extended version for publication in a soon to be determined forum (e.g., peer review journal or edited volume).

Significant Dates:

  • Call for abstracts closes: October 31, 2017 – see Information for Students, below
  • Decision notification: November 30, 2017
  • Registration opens: January 1, 2018
  • Registration closes: February 28, 2018
  • Conference: June 22-28, 2018

NOTE: Delegates are encouraged to arrive in Yukon on June 21 and leave on June 29 to enjoy all aspects of the conference program, and to take advantage of the bus travel (included in the conference fee) from our final destination community back to Whitehorse on the evening of June 28th.

Registration Fee: Registration information and fees will be available on our website by December 1.

Information for Students: Students are an integral part of IPTRN conferences and we welcome your abstract submissions. We encourage you to apply for funding externally, and we are happy to help you with a support letter. IPTRN are also applying for funding to offer some support for student participation. If you are interested to apply for an IPTRN stipend include your student status and a 150 word justification for your attendance at the IPTRN (in Word). In order to be included in our external funding applications, interested students must submit by October 15, 2017.  

Conference/Community Tour Highlights:

  • Intimate week sharing scholarship with colleagues from across the poles, and engaging with community residents, tourism operators, and development planners on polar tourism issues and opportunities
  • Begins in Whitehorse and travels to several Yukon communities
  • Follows the IPTRN conference model: paper and other presentation sessions, workshops/discussion forums, community tour around the host territory, and visitor experiences
  • Ends at the beginning of the one-week long, internationally recognized, Adäka First Nations Cultural festival (Whitehorse):

Interested in getting an “insider experience” of the Adäka festival? Through a partnership with the Adäka festival organizers (the Yukon First Nation Culture and Tourism Association), IPTRN will help pilot an international volunteer program and coordinate opportunities for conference participants to volunteer at the Adäka festival. There may also be lodging opportunities with locals in Whitehorse during the volunteer commitment period. Please indicate your potential interest to volunteer at the Adäka festival in the body of your email when you submit your abstract.

Destination Information:

Getting to the Yukon:
Travel information:
Whitehorse “The Wilderness City”: 
About Yukon communities:          
About Yukon First Nations:         
Adäka First Nations Cultural Festival (Whitehorse):  

See also “Journeys to Adäka” documentary movie trailer – Sagafish Media:

About Yukon First Nations self-governance:
About Yukon First Nations tourism:

More Information:

For more information go to the conference website (, “like” our Facebook page (, and follow us on Twitter (

If you have any questions about the 6th IPTRN, please contact Dr. Patrick Brouder or Dr. Suzanne de la Barre via the conference email address:

IPTRN Conference Publications:

The IPTRN is a group with a shared interest in research that advances the understanding of tourism in and about the Polar Regions. The IPTRN strives to generate, share and disseminate knowledge, resources and perspectives on polar tourism; and strongly supports the development of international collaboration and cooperative relationships between members. 2018 is IPTRN’s ten year anniversary, and each meeting has resulted in collaborative research publications.

1st IPTRN (Montreal/Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik, Canada): Grenier, A.A.; Müller, D.K. (Eds.) (2011). Polar Tourism: A Tool for Regional Development. QC: Presses de l’Université du Québec, Québec.

2nd IPTRN (Abisko, Sweden): Müller, D.K.; Lundmark, L.; Lemelin, R.H. (Eds.) (2013). New Issues in Polar Tourism: Communities, Environments, Politics. Springer: Dordrecht.

3rd IPTRN (Nain, Nunatsiavut, Canada): Lemelin, R.H., Maher, P., and Liggett, D. (Eds.) (2013). From talk to action: How tourism is changing the Polar Regions. Conference Proceedings from the 3rd International Polar Tourism Research Network (IPTRN) Conference, April 16-21, 2012, Nain, Nunatsiavut. Thunder Bay, Ontario: Centre for Northern Studies Press, Lakehead University.

4th IPTRN (Christchurch/Akaroa, New Zealand): Liggett, D. and Stewart, E. (Eds.) (2015). Polar tourism (research) is not what it used to be: the maturing of a field of COMMUNITY alongside an activity. The Polar Journal. 5(2), special issue. DOI:10.1080/2154896X.2015.1104802

5th IPTRN (Akureyri/Raufarhöfn, Iceland): Huijbens, E. and Lamers, M. (Eds.) (2017). Sustainable Tourism and Natural Resource Conservation in the Polar Regions. Resources. 6(3), special issue.

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