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Arctic Tourism Experiences: Production, Consumption and Sustainability

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An exploration of Arctic tourism, focusing on tourist experiences and industry provision of those experiences; this is the first compilation to concentrate on the fundamental essence of the Arctic as being aÊgeographical periphery, but also anÊexperiential coreÊthat offers peak tourism experiences.ÊPart 1 investigates the depth and dimensions of tourist experiences in the Arctic. Chapters examine the essence of diverse peak experiences and delve into the factors that give rise to these experiences. Part 2 considers the links between these core experiences and the tourism industry that seeks to sustain itself by facilitating such satisfying outcomes.

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20 Chapters

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1 Arctic Destinations and Attractions as Evolving Peripheral Settings for the Production and Consumption of Peak Tourism Experiences



Arctic Destinations and Attractions as Evolving Peripheral Settings for the

Production and Consumption of Peak

Tourism Experiences

Young-Sook Lee,*,1 David B. Weaver2 and

Nina K. Prebensen1,3


The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway; 2Griffith

University, Gold Coast, Australia; 3Buskerud and Vestfold University

College, Borre, Norway


The Arctic has attracted considerable research attention from various disciplines and this trend has intensified in recent decades. Reasons for this increased scrutiny include growing social and political foci on climate change that is felt sharply in the region (Sturm et al., 2001; Ford and Smit, 2004; Hinzman et al., 2005); increased debates over the sustainable use of natural and cultural resources of the Arctic

(Kaltenborn, 1998; Riedlinger and Berkes,

2001); and amplified geopolitical tensions that result from the opening of the region (Heininen and Nicol, 2007; Young, 2009). The Arctic tourism experiences described and analysed in this edited book are informed by all of these ‘macro issues’. Despite this increased interest in the macro issues in the Arctic area, there is still a need for knowledge regarding the micro issues, such as how to facilitate sustainable tourism.


2 Experiencing the Arctic in the Past: French Visitors to Finnmark in the Late 1700s and Early 1800s



Experiencing the Arctic in the Past:

French Visitors to Finnmark in the

Late 1700s and Early 1800s

Isabelle Guissard* and Young-Sook Lee

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway


This chapter traces three elite French visitors to northern Norway who travelled there long before the area began receiving attention as a tourist destination per se. Drawing on archival records and relevant literature, it recounts the travel experiences of the three visitors, who showed interest in the Arctic environment and its people in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

The first story comes from Prince Louis

Philippe’s stay in northern Norway. This stay primarily had political motivations, albeit the prince was interested in science. The second story is about Léonie d’Aunet, who is thought to be the first French woman tourist in the Arctic.

She travelled on La Recherche, a scientific research expedition vessel that was commissioned by Prince Louis Philippe. La Recherche travelled to northern Norwegian locations, such as North Cape and Spitzbergen. As the wife of one of the expedition members on the vessel, her motivations could most closely be related to those of leisurely and touristic visits to the Arctic today. The last example is Roland Bonaparte, a grandnephew of Napoléon Bonaparte, who travelled to northern Norway at the end of the


3 Roles of Adventure Guides in Balancing Perceptions of Risk and Safety



Roles of Adventure Guides in

Balancing Perceptions of Risk and


Arild Røkenes*,1 and Line Mathisen2


The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway; 2Northern

Research Institute, Alta, Norway


Risk is usually associated with dangerous situations. However, for adventure tourists, the desire for risk is connected to the experiential values that these tourists associate with performing an activity, such as thrill, enjoyment and excitement

(Cater, 2006; Buckley, 2012; Mackenzie and

Kerr, 2012; Piekarz et al., 2015). In particular, desirable risk is a subjective evaluation based on previous and ongoing experiences; thus, the manner in which guides interact with tourists influences possibilities for co-creation of experiences, as well as tourists’ perceptions of risk.

Despite the influence the perceived risk of tourists can have on the value created when performing an adventure activity (­Mackenzie and


4 The Central Role of Identity in the Arctic Periphery



The Central Role of Identity in the

Arctic Periphery

Sara Davoudi,*,1,2 Claes Högström1 and Bård Tronvoll3,4


Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden;

–Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group at Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden; 3Hedmark University of

Applied Sciences, Elverum, Norway; 4UiT The Arctic University of

Norway, Alta, Norway



The Arctic can be viewed as the periphery in a centre–periphery service system, where the periphery is characterized by a perceived relative scarcity of resources, and its local centres serve as platforms for exchange with the central units of the system (cf. Galtung, 1971). From a systems perspective (Vargo and Lusch, 2016),

Arctic tourism actors are nested in multilevel networks in which actors collaborate – that is, they cooperate and coordinate to achieve integration (Gulati et al., 2012) to create value in various ways. The present study explores how collaborating actors specialize in providing different kinds of service in value-creating systems of service exchange. From this perspective, use value (representing the consumer’s experienced benefit) is taken to be the main explanatory mechanism in a system’s creation, based on the assumption that this affects consumers’ purchase behaviour and willingness to pay (Priem,


5 Tourists and Narration in the Arctic: The Changing Experience of Museums



Tourists and Narration in the Arctic:

The Changing Experience of Museums

Johan Edelheim*,1 and Young-Sook Lee2


of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland; 2UiT The Arctic

University of Norway, Alta, Norway


Attractions, what they can be and their relation to narratives

Tourism without any form of tourist attractions does not make sense. Attractions are at the heart of tourism, the raison d’être for people to travel to different destinations and, in many cases, they are what is remembered and narrated during the journey or re-narrated after the journey. A narrow definition of attractions leads people to think of objects, specific places and iconic features in destinations. All of this is part of the truth, but a broader definition leads us to understand how feelings, stories, people, art and lived cultural features, to name just a few aspects, can also be attractions in travellers’ minds (Leiper, 2005). Beyond the more common superficial motivations, many journeys to geographical peripheries might be aiming for an experiential fulfilment that is not expressed even to the traveller self, apart from the journey and the goal. Due to the geographic extremeness the tourist is striving for, there is seldom a need along the way to verbalize an experiential expectation, since the goal seems to be enough.


6 World Heritage List = Tourism Attractiveness?



World Heritage List = Tourism


Kjell Olsen*

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway


Heritage discourse is one that involves different fields of valorization. In some fields, old objects are valued for what they can tell us about the past, their aesthetic qualities or use value. In other fields, such as identity politics and the economy, the past is valued as a resource for new industries. One of the specific values attached to heritage is the capability of such objects and sites to attract tourists. Within global

UNESCO discourse, in the White Papers of

Norwegian ministries, as well as in local Nor­ wegian debates, the argument emerges that heritage, especially World Heritage listings, will attract visitors and provide local economic

­benefit. However, as Robinson and Silverman

(2015: 14) point out, not all heritages and heritage sites are popular and many of them ‘would be hard-pressed to stimulate any significant emotional response from tourists’ (Robinson,


7 Degrees of Peripherality in the Production and Consumption of Leisure Tourism in Greenland



Degrees of Peripherality in the

Production and Consumption of

Leisure Tourism in Greenland

David B. Weaver* and Laura J. Lawton

Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith

University, Australia


Evolution of Greenland Tourism

Even by the exotic standards of the Arctic as a region, Greenland (or Kalaallit Nunaat) stands out for its impressive idiosyncrasies. Understated by Kaae (2006: 110) as ‘an emerging destination in extreme cold water’, Greenland has the lowest population density of any of the world’s self-governing geopolitical entities, with

0.026 persons per km2 or 38 km2 per person.

More than 80% of the Danish dependency’s land area of 2,166,000 km2, constituting the world’s largest island, is covered by icecap, and no roads connect any of the 77 fjord-hugging towns and villages that accommodate the

57,000 mostly indigenous residents (Kaae,

2006). The patterns of leisure tourism production and consumption fostered by such isolation are described and analysed in this chapter.


8 Northern Lights Experiences in the Arctic Dark: Old Imaginaries and New Tourism Narratives



Northern Lights Experiences in the

Arctic Dark: Old Imaginaries and

New Tourism Narratives

Stein R. Mathisen*

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway


During the first decades of the third millennium, businesses offering ‘northern lights tourism’ activities have established themselves as some of the fastest-growing tourism businesses in northern Scandinavia (Northern Norway Tourist Board, 2016; Visit Norway, 2016). This development is evident in other Arctic and

­sub-Arctic areas, where the celestial phenomena of the aurora borealis frequently appear, and where destinations are relatively accessible to travelling visitors. Since 2000, due to increased solar activity and magnetic storms, there has been enhanced northern lights activity. Contemporaneously, interest in the Arctic areas and circumpolar regions has increased.

The landscapes in which the northern lights are now abundantly appearing have increasingly become strategically and politically important.


9 Exploring the Extreme Iditarod Trail in Alaska



Exploring the Extreme Iditarod Trail in


Hans Anton Stubberud* and Carsten Blom Ruud

South East Norway University College, Ringerike, Norway


Travelling to remote and novel destinations, to ‘frontiers’ on journeys that physically and

­mentally challenge people, tends to attract the explorer group of tourists (Cohen, 1972). This chapter focuses on two such people – the authors – who travelled the Iditarod trail, a dogsled race in Alaska. Their journey, which lasted

5 weeks (24 February to 31 March 2001), was undertaken before, during and after the race and its events had concluded. The chapter explores our personal experiences by drawing on our narratives and diary entries. By using theoretical and empirical research, the chapter discusses these narratives with the aim of identifying tourism business potentials for destinations and companies.

Skiing in the trail of a dog-sled race such as the Iditarod is a rough and exceptional activity for those heading for extreme experiences.


10 The Arctic Tourism Experience from an Evolving Chinese Perspective



The Arctic Tourism Experience from an Evolving Chinese Perspective

Ming-Feng Huang,1 Chuanzhong Tang*,1 and

David B. Weaver2


International Institute, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, China; 2Griffith University, Gold Coast,



The growth in worldwide international tourist arrivals from 278 million in 1980 to 1133 million in 2014 (UNWTO, 2015) has been accompanied by the emergence of new visitor segments and products such as ecotourism, adventure tourism and food tourism. Moreover, all places can now be regarded as tourist destinations, from the deep-sea bed to the summit of the Himalayas, and from the equatorial rainforests to the high-latitude ice sheets. No more than a generation ago, the high latitudes received hardly any attention from international tourists, Snyder and Stonehouse (2007: 3) regarding them as ‘virtually unknown to the general public and poorly understood until the late 19th century’. Visitor numbers to the Arctic have since increased to about 1.5 million per year (UNEP, 2007), but most people even today still regard this region as an aspirational destination, exotic and mysterious, and difficult to reach from other parts of the world. Such a view, for example, pertains to China, which has attracted considerable academic and industry attention as one of the world’s main touristgenerating countries. The Chinese tourist tsunami has already hit nearby destinations such as Hong Kong and Macau with tens of millions of visitors, but as yet the Arctic is only experiencing the smallest of ripples, a situation that will doubtless change in the next two decades.


11 Tourists’ Interpretations of a ‘Feelgood In Lapland’ Holiday – A Case Study



Tourists’ Interpretations of a

‘Feelgood in Lapland’ Holiday –

A Case Study

Raija Komppula*

University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland


The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the different meanings and components that different people respectively hold and associate with well-being tourism. As a consequence of the differing motivations, life situations and other situational factors of tourists, well-being tourism comprises several sub-segments to which the value of a well-being holiday should respect­ ively be marketed. This chapter is informed by a study that aimed to find out what kind of interpretations customers of a hotel chain formed about a ‘Feelgood in Lapland’ experience. The initiative for the study came from the hotel chain. Based on the findings of the study, the hotel chain was able to develop the components of Feelgood offerings and market the experience to different target segments.

The chapter presents a case study undertaken in Finnish Lapland, which is the home of a private hotel chain with 13 hotels. The company has facilities close to wilderness areas on the fringes of national parks, and also in skiing centres. The motivation for the study was the need to develop the components of one of the product lines of the company, entitled ‘Feelgood’. This product relates to well-being tourism offerings. In a Nordic context, the term


12 Negotiating Sami Place and Identity: Do Scottish Traditions Help Sami to be More Sami?



Negotiating Sami Place and Identity:

Do Scottish Traditions Help Sami to be More Sami?

Beate Bursta*

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway


Imagine a quiet village in northernmost Norway.

Imagine it lively here. Boats in the harbour, loaded with fish from the fjord. The air mixed with heavy smells of fish hung up to dry. Children playing around the scattered houses. Women walking between kitchens and barns, taking care of sheep and households. The boarding school filled with children from smaller nearby villages.

A hundred years ago, it was lively here. A hundred years ago, nearly everyone had mastered the Sami language; today, hardly anyone. The school did a good job with the children, turning them into proper Norwegians.

Finally, when the road was built connecting this place by land to the rest of the world, the ­village became even busier. Twice a day, the ferry unloaded and reloaded cars and people who were passing through. After a while, the ferry’s arrival became the liveliest moment in the village. Why? Because people had started moving out, not only from this village, but also from all the little surrounding villages. The boarding school closed down. Nevertheless, there were still enough children in the fjord to keep it going, for a few more years. During the vital years, many institutions were established here connecting the village to the emerging


13 Emergence of Experience Production Systems for Mass Tourism Participation in Peripheral Regions: Evidence from Arctic Scandinavia



Emergence of Experience

Production Systems for Mass

Tourism Participation in Peripheral

Regions: Evidence from Arctic


Peter Fischer*

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway


perspectives of service design and experience production and the concept of coopetition, a

In autumn 2015, a cross-border network of term indicating cooperation of competitors.

The geographic area of investigation covsmall tourism firms from Finnish and Swedish

Lapland and north Norway (Arctic Scandina- ers sparsely settled eastern parts of the Norwevia), was established by tourism organization gian county of Finnmark and the north of managers from the participating countries. The Finnish Lapland. Finnish winter resorts with aim of this ‘enterprise-driven project’ is to ‘make convenient airline access constitute its southern

North Scandinavia a homogenous tourism des- boundary. In the north, the European North tination’ (VAE, 2015). Some of the enterprises Cape draws up to a quarter of a million bus and or similar ones are located geographically in- cruise tourists each summer. Norwegian seabetween larger mass tourism operations. With ports are accessed daily by the Hurtigruten liner the project vision as background, the following ( investigates how small and medium- hurtigruten/) and, additionally, by an increasing sized enterprises (SMEs) in a peripheral region number of international cruise ships, which also meet the opportunity to benefit from this adja- operate during the winter. Geographically incent mass market potential. Questions are between, a few small tourism enterprises have posed about how they cope with market traditionally been offering accommodation for changes, global trends in consumer behaviour, seasonal fishermen, hunters and stopover tourand local limitations and competition in the ists, mostly during summer. Commonly run as context of a geographically peripheral destina- sideline or lifestyle businesses by public employtion; and how individual adaptation and inno- ees, fishermen, reindeer herders and craftspeovation influence the attractiveness of the region ple, many firms have started to benefit from the as a whole. The starting point of this non-­ advent of mass tourism in the region, with some representative qualitative study of nine family extending their operation into the winter season firms in the Norwegian county of Finnmark, (Jæger and Viken, 2014).


14 Factors of Peripherality: Whale Watching in Northern Norway



Factors of Peripherality: Whale

Watching in Northern Norway

Giovanna Bertella*

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway


This chapter reflects on the dialectic between the concepts of periphery and core; specifically, the paradox of tourists searching for core experiences in peripheral places (Hall, 2015; Weaver,

2015). Using a case study of wildlife tourism, the chapter investigates how periphery-related dimensions of a destination shape premises for core wildlife experiences.

When initially applied to tourism contexts, the notion of periphery was used to refer to rural areas around European urban centres.

More recently, periphery has also been used to refer to remote areas (Stonehouse and Snyder,

2010; Müller, 2015). Such areas are often characterized by the fragility of natural and social environments and the possibility of hosting wilderness experiences (Krakover and Gradus,

2002; Lemelin and Wiersma, 2007; Müller and


15 Responsible Fishing Tourism in the Arctic



Responsible Fishing Tourism in the


Nina K. Prebensen*1,2 and Sølvi Lyngnes3


and Vestfold University College, Borre, Norway; 2UiT

The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway; 3BI Norwegian

Business School, Oslo, Norway


Fishing tourism is an industry in which its actors

– that is, firms, destinations and customers – benefit from utilizing nature-based resources.

This practice can be performed in a responsible or an irresponsible way. As the tourist is the vital actor performing fishing activities in a natural environment, a central route to ensure a more responsible tourism industry is to help and teach the tourist to act in a responsible way. Williams and Ponsford (2009) claim that more collective and vision-oriented approaches to tourism industry planning are needed to address broader and more pervasive environmental and sustainability challenges.

This chapter highlights different types of fishing tourism in the Arctic and discusses how the industry can become responsible through its customers. The chapter ends by presenting a practical tool, the business canvas model


16 Long Way Up: Powered Two-wheeled Journeys in Northern Peripheries



Long Way Up: Powered Twowheeled Journeys in Northern


Carl Cater*

Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK


The opening of the continental Arctic for tourism has been largely facilitated by the extensive road building programmes of the 20th century.

While primarily aimed at the economic development and resource exploitation of these peripheral regions, the visitor economy has followed the branches of this network, and in many Arctic areas tourism is now a significant driver of development. The flexibility afforded by drive tourism in places that have traditionally been relatively inaccessible by public transport has particularly favoured the development of this sector. Drive tourism in general has received some scrutiny (for example Prideaux and

­Carson, 2011) as part of ‘the recognition that growing numbers of people desire a free and independent travel experience’ (Shih, 2006:

1029). Further, this freedom means that drive tourism is influential in the regional dispersal of tourism and is therefore particularly important for peripheral destinations. A specific subsector that has seen notable growth is that of motorcycle tourists, who have found a powerful attraction in the open and dramatic spaces of the continental Arctic.


17 Experiences of Marine Adventurers in the Canadian Arctic



Experiences of Marine Adventurers in the Canadian Arctic

Margaret E. Johnston,* Elsa De Souza and

R. Harvey Lemelin

School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, Lakehead

University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada


Marine tourism in the Canadian Arctic is changing in important ways, partly because of changing environmental conditions. Summer

­ ice coverage has declined considerably, resulting in greater accessibility for ships, but tourism vessels have been the greatest beneficiaries

(­Pizzolato et al., 2014). With improved physical access, global attention on climate change in the Arctic has enhanced motivational access through increased awareness of the region as a destination. With marine tourism growing, so too has the interest of governing agencies and other stakeholders trying to exploit new opportunities and more effectively managing the costs of tourism-related change. Marine tourism development in the Canadian Arctic has developed slowly, focusing on land-based activities and air accessibility due to distances and lack of roads. It has been limited because the extent of ice has prevented vessels without ice-reinforced hulls from travelling very far. The voyage of the expedition cruise ship M/S Lindblad Explorer in


18 Arctic Tourism in Russia: Attractions, Experiences, Challenges and Potentials



Arctic Tourism in Russia:

Attractions, Experiences,

Challenges and Potentials

Sergey Ilkevich*,1 and Per Strömberg2


State University of Tourism and Service, Moscow Region,

Russia 2University College of Southeast Norway, Bø, Norway


For a westerner, Arctic tourism in Russia is generally associated with atomic icebreaker vessels, pristine natural landscapes in vast peripheral areas with extreme conditions that are suitable for hunting and fishing, indigenous communities isolated from modern centres and, finally, in the far north, post-Soviet nostalgia related to abandoned military establishments. Of course, this represents only part of the picture of Russian Arctic tourism and is not dissimilar to other parts of the Arctic involved in tourism. However, there are many more nuances of tourism in the Russian Arctic that remain under-utilized or under-recognized. The Russian Arctic is one of the last great wildernesses on Earth and geographically encompasses the largest part of the


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