About the Project

ETRAC Project Objectives

Empowering tourism entrepreneurs and SMEs in post-COVID recovery

Promoting sustainable, sensitive tourism recovery

Capacity building for tourism businesses and entrepreneurs  

The aim of ETRAC is to enable short-term business recovery while exploring options for a more culturally and locally sensitive tourism future. The partners will work with local SMEs, communities, DMOs and other stakeholders to enable them to diversify the business, work collaboratively, acquire new skills or create new digital tourism streams. In doing so, the project aims to address challenges common across the project area, such as demographic issues related to the sparse population and peripherality and under-representation of Indigenous and other cultures in Arctic areas.

The approach is to draw upon the collective experience of the lead partners from four previous or current NPA projects - ARCTISEN, W-POWER, SHAPE and SAINT - to share new approaches with an expanded network of end-users through a dynamic innovation platform.

While negative impacts on tourism partnerships are widespread, this is an opportunity to identify where individuals and communities have shown entrepreneurial flair and how these new activities may form part of expanded future networks. In order to harness, enhance, update and synergise the lessons and outputs of the four participating projects ETRAC will have the following outputs:

  • A series of reports synthesising knowledge, including updated knowledge from the previous projects and new data gathering regarding SMEs’ experiences since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
  • An innovation platform, adapted from the SHAPE e-service. This will include a) training/coaching modules, drawn from the four projects and open-access resources developed by partners, b) online benchmarking, peer-to-peer mentoring and other business support tools, and c) good practice/ documented experiences.
  • A series of digital end-user events, expanding the network to connect end-users and disseminating lessons and impacts from all four projects.


SHAPE focussed on the development of practical tools to support the development of ecotourism in sustainable heritage areas. The resulting knowledge and tools were incorporated into a dynamic ‘e-service’, designed to be used after the project ended.

SAINT focused on working with tourism SMEs to facilitate new clustering and marketing approaches to support the development of nature-based tourism experiences.

ARCTISEN focused on creating support systems for tourism SMEs and start-ups it was particularly concerned with how cultural sensitivity, to Indigenous and other local cultures, needs to be a core value in tourism products.

W-POWER has a broader industry remit as it seeks to increase the contribution of women to sparsely populated regional economies, through capacity building and overcoming structural barriers.