Cultural Sensitivity in Sámi Tourism: A Systematic Literature Review in the Finnish Context

Ritva Saari, Emily Hockert, Outi Kugapi, Monika Lüthje, Nuccio Mazzullo

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The use of Sámi cultures in the Finnish tourism business has been problematic for decades. In this article, we consider how the concept of cultural sensitivity could be used to find alternative approaches and new solutions to this situation. Using a systematic literature review, we examine how cultural sensitivity has been approached in previous academic literature. According to the review, the concept of cultural sensitivity has not previously been used in the context of tourism; instead, respect, cultural sustainability, cultural bearing, cultural representations, and cultural identity have been discussed. Other disciplines have emphasized the importance of integration, mediation and recognition of Sámi cultures. The literature in the fields of social work and pedagogy shows that cultural sensitivity helps to find more responsible ways of thinking, doing and researching tourism. Overall, the article calls for the use of cultural sensitivity in research, its theoretical conceptualization, and its practical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-110
Number of pages18
JournalMatkailututkimus/Finnish Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020


  • cultural sensitivity
  • respect
  • tourism
  • Sami cultures
  • Finland


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