Cruise tourism activities in the Barents Sea: local communities’ perspectives and governance

Lead Author Julia, Olsen
Institution Contact Nord University, Postboks 1490, 8049 Bodø, Norway
Co-Authors Karin Wigger, Nord University Marta Bystrowska, University of Silesia
Theme Theme 5: New Markets for the Arctic, including Trade, Tourism and Transportation
Session Name 5.2 Arctic Tourism: The interplay between supply and demand, culture and environment
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The melting Arctic opens potential for cruise tourism development. The Russian Barents region due to its favorable climatic conditions offers multiple travel opportunities along the coastal areas. The literature review on ‘shipping activities in the Barents region’ indicates that the impact of such cruise activities on local coastal communities has not received much attention yet. A few studies discuss that cruise activities can create opportunities to the region, and may for example result in the development of Arctic town-ports and the improvement of search and rescue facilities. Despite those opportunities leading to socio-economic improvements, an increase in cruise activities may affect the well-being of coastal communities. Cruise ships bring a great amount of visitors to small coastal communities, and may put traditional resource management at risk. For example, more access to imported goods and possible trade with local natural resources (e.g. berries, fish, and reindeer) may add new challenges to indigenous communities that are already adapting to climatic, environmental and economic changes.
This paper discusses opportunities and risks associated with cruise tourism activities for local communities in the Barents region from governance perspectives. The discussion is based on the outcomes of the interviews with local and regional stakeholders (representatives from local communities and tourism sector) from the Barents region. We will analyze the translation of local values and knowledge in the development of national and international cruise tourism guidelines and shipping regulations in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impact from cruise activities. A special focus is given to local communities’ engagement and participation in the decision-making processes.
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