Night sky and stars

Dark sky tourism – perspective for green business

Karelia UAS has implemented the use of immersive technologies in the marketing communication of companies’ products and services in international cooperation, e.g. in the Digi2Market project. This co-development gave confidence to networking and innovated a new perspective to further explore and investigate the usability of new technologies to support different business opportunities.

The Irish partners from Digi2Market -project brought to the discussion the need to promote sustainable business models and methodologies in the service provision of small and medium enterprises on the theme of dark sky opportunities for tourism. Indeed, the countries of the Northern Periphery and the Arctic region are linked by low light pollution, accessibility challenges in sparsely populated areas, infrastructure already in place for tourism, digitalisation enhanced by the Covid-19 pandemic, both in service provision and as a source of information.

The topic was further explored through a short co-design project in which a team from Karelia University of Applied Sciences produced a publication Dark skies use in tourism : Good practices examples This report presents both a snapshot of the situation in Finland and best practices from around the world, providing inspiration for the potential of dark sky tourism.

In addition to the linked report, other studies have also been carried out in the framework of the above mentioned joint planning project with contributions from international partners. This wide-ranging review allowed us to create a mapping of the current situation and to understand the needs of businesses and tourism-related actors on the topic of dark sky tourism. We developed a joint development plan and received funding from the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme in autumn 2022.

GLOW2.0 project – developing tourism during the dark winter months

Through the GLOW2.0 – Green energy technologies for tourism growth development project, we are strengthening communities and SMEs in Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Finland in a sustainable way, creating opportunities to increase competitiveness.

GLOW2.0 supports businesses and public organisations to develop tourism during the dark winter months. This will be achieved by enabling the application of immersive technologies in businesses and by developing collaborative applications showcasing the night sky. These new solutions will be integrated into existing tourism strategies and digital solutions for natural and cultural heritage. The aim is to enable businesses to reach a wider range of target groups. These will allow companies to develop their own business models for sustainable development.

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme is funding the three-year GLOW2.0 – Green energy technologies for tourism growth development project, which is about to start. Karelia UAS is the project leader as lead partner, and other partners involved in the co-development are PLAKY – Federation of Northern Lapland municipalities (Sodankylä, Inari, Utsjoki) from Finland, UiT – UiT The Arctic University of Norway from Norway, SSNSV – Federation of Regional Authorities NW Iceland from Iceland and two partners from Ireland 1) UnaG – The Gaeltacht Authority and 2) WestBIC – Innovation and Management Centre WestBIC.


Marja-Liisa Ruotsalainen, Project Specialist, Karelia UAS