Arctic industrial tourism for sustainable development of the Northern cities (case study: Khibiny Mountains, Murmansk region, Russia)

Lead Author Yulia, Zaika
Institution Contact Khibiny educational and scientific station Faculty of Geography Lomonosov Moscow State University Address: Zheleznodorozhnaya str., 10 184250 Kirovsk Murmansk region Russia
Theme Theme 5: New Markets for the Arctic, including Trade, Tourism and Transportation
Session Name 5.1 Arctic Tourism Futures
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Today’s Arctic gets more and more attention based on its profile shared through media: remote and cold place with extreme environments, the “hotspot” of climate change. All these connotations within the identity of this place create the image which is actively consumed by the community. Along with its doubtless resource role, Arctic is the polar region with a permanent human population which refers us to the sustainable development of local settlements and communities. The most part of Arctic settlements and cities depends on exploitation and extraction of resources. Murmansk region, as one of the heavily industrialized Arctic regions, is not an exception. The well-known model of Northern extractive industries and communities is a single-industry city with a low diversification of economy. Along with active resource extraction (like mining, fishing etc.), regional tourism is considered as a driving force for local economy. The fragile Arctic environment is drastically damaged by extractive industries and is additionally disturbing by “wild” and “unorganized” tourism. Tourism management, planning, organization and proper branding are the key elements. According to the interviews with the local communities and tourists, industrial infrastructures and damaged ecosystems can be seen as the very specific promotional factor of attraction complementing the“harsh”connotation of the Arctic. Thus, along with the nature-based and heritage tourism, industrial tourism can be seen as one of the local economic drivers. Natural attributes as Arctic-Alpine environments, changing landscapes along the Murmansk region from taiga to Arctic tundra, Polar days and nights together with indigenous history and communities; and industrial complexes and enterprises can be taken as economically viable region’s brand.