Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 515

Arctic Yearbook 2014 515 As an operative model the tourism safety and security development activities have existed since 2009. The activities have taken place in 14 tourism destinations within sparsely populated Finnish Lapland and have included hundreds of educational events, drills and company sparrings for tourism companies and SMEs, non-tourism companies, public authorities, associations and other actors. The participating tourism destinations are Enontekiö, Utsjoki, Levi, Ylläs, Saariselkä, Pyhä-Luosto, Kemijärvi, Posio, Rovaniemi, Meri-Lappi (Kemi and Tornio regions), Salla, Muonio, Pello, Ylitornio. Other actors in the Tourism Safety and Security System in Lapland are presented on our web-site.2 The education and training events have taken place in tourism destinations in Finnish Lapland. The key idea behind the training has been to enhance the safety skills of the enterprises, public authorities and local populations of the municipalities that operate in and around tourism destination environments. The key problems they tackle are long distances and a lack of safety and security resources combined with a significant increase of the international population during tourism seasons. This results in risks that would cause immediate economic losses and indirectly do major harm to the regional and national image if they occurred. Our core idea has been to create sustainability by committing the local population, public authorities, associations and other actors to safety and security skills and education. The cornerstones of our activities are: • • • • Listening closely to customer needs (safety and security end-users, tourism enterprises, associations and other third sector organisations, citizens in municipalities close to tourism destinations) Active network building: regional, national, international Creating practical tools for companies and SMEs International cooperation and maintaining our expertise by continually implementing multidisciplinary research into the topic (Source: Qualitative interviews of the tourism safety experts in Finnish Lapland, April-June2014) The approach has gained recognition due to its innovative and cost-efficient approach. The National Diamond Act award it received is the highest national recognition for safety and security innovations. This recognition has supported our international network building, indicated by European EPSA2013 award given to the network in November 2013. The significance of these awards is they were awarded after independent peer review and recognition. The internationalisation process serves all actors in the network, especially the tourism industry and SMEs. This briefing note is a co-creation of a particular internationalisation project (European Dimension on Tourism Safety and Security, ESF 2012-2014). The project lead partner is the Multidimensional Tourism Institute, which is a key initiator in the network building and has chosen tourism safety and security as its spearhead theme in RDI. This strategic choice is supported by Lapland University of Applied Sciences, which has chosen safety and security as a strategic priority.3 Other partners are Lapland State Administrative Agency and Lapland Hospital District, who both play crucial roles in tourism intensive Finnish Lapland. Conclusion Tourism Safety & Security