How tourism affects the environment of polar regions tourism essay

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How tourism affects the environment of polar regions tourism essay

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Tourism in these regions has provided an attractive proposition for tourists and governments alike with governments receiving needed income that can boost their national and local economies.

The attraction of these places with their abundance of natural beauties is attracting increased numbers, demanding more infrastructure and facilities. Some of these expectations are realistic, some less so and meeting them can pose both a threat and an incentive to biodiversity conservation.

Beginning with the Arctic and following with the Antarctic, this paper will examine the growing phenomenon of polar tourism outlining both its benefits and costs.

How tourism affects the environment of polar regions tourism essay

In doing so it will show how on the whole Arctic tourism is now widely accepted and indeed welcomed, whilst Antarctic tourism is still looked upon with some contempt, deemed unnecessary and too damaging to the environment.

Arctic tourism was first established in the 19th century and it became common place in the late 19th and early 20th century for Arctic expedition ships to carry passengers whose fares helped settle voyage expenses. There was no Antarctic tourism at this time with little or no demand and ships were usually too short of space anyway to allow non-working guests.

This presents both opportunities and challenges; opportunities to increase awareness of Arctic environmental and conservation issues, whilst also providing a sustainable income for many northern communities.

The Northwest Territories From Hamley, One region that has tried to capitalise upon these opportunities are the indigenous communities of the Northwest Territories which in recent years have demonstrated how long traditions and distinctive cultures may be used as a source of income to the local economy without disrupting the areas fragile landscapes, environment and social cultures Hamley, Despite early difficulties generating income, tourism is now becoming increasingly important to the economy in these regions fitting well with that of other traditional occupations e.

Describe popular culture — read also here There is however some concern that the social cohesion of these communities that has remained in balance for many years will gradually break down as the number of tourist services, facilities and influx of people increases. Cheng suggested that in such instances there may be population shifts and community values and objectives may change.

It is therefore important, that lessons are learnt from tourism developments elsewhere, even south of the Arctic Circle where tourism acts on a much grander scale with its huge national parks, in particular Banff Townsite.

Whilst shop owners and the like have benefited, growing tourism has forced many residents to subsequently leave the town in search of somewhat quieter surroundings.

Visual arts of the Inuit people Source: Detroit Virtual Zoo, Once struggling for economic success the number of summer vacationers in Baffin as reported by Milne et al doubled between and Whilst tourism has brought greater autonomy to the region the boom may have its negative effects in that over exposure with the outside world may be drastically changing Inuit life.

There is of course the danger that the language and identity of these communities may be lost in a changing world. The Northwest Territories however still have a long way to go before tourism demand reaches scales met in towns such as Banff since the territory still only shares Arctic tourism therefore remains a small niche-market unable to sustain a local economy on its own.

It should therefore realistically be viewed as an additional economic activity in most Northern Regions. Nature based tourism is proving especially popular with almost every Arctic country promoting it.

Arctic tourism is therefore now primarily nature-based and as a result highly vulnerable to disturbances and degradation of its main attraction i. Ecotourism will often attract a different type of clientele interested in minimising any negative impacts they may leave in their wake Milne et al.

Thus, Arctic regions endorsing this type of tourism may be promoting sustainable economic growth. Another type of Arctic tourism on the increase is cruise tourism.

Cruise tourism has its benefits and its costs. Firstly, cruise ships bring all their own facilities. In communities where there is little infrastructure to support large numbers of tourists, this can be an advantage since communities can concentrate on supplying, for example, cultural goods.

Secondly, in larger communities, cruise tourism can cause bitterness since the economic benefits basically go to only a handful of locals and often to tourism operators from outside the Arctic. Cruise ships may also land too many passengers, overwhelming the capacities of small communities.

Since the Arctic tourism season is extremely short three or four monthsthe challenge is how can these communities justify major expenditures on facilities which in effect only provides temporary work? What about the rest of the time and what about years when tourism demand is low? Preserving cultural heritages and therefore sustainable practices might be the answer if indigenous communities are presented with such challenges.

Tourism cannot and will not be the answer to all economic uncertainties. Over the last three decades a growing number of non-governmental expeditions have visited the Antarctic and a number of tourist activities have followed suite.How Tourism Affects The Environment Of Polar Regions Tourism Essay The Polar Regions are the icy countries around the North and South Poles.

The Northern Polar Region is called the Arctic, while the Southern Polar Region is called the Antarctic (hypertext transfer protocol: //

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How tourism affects the environment of polar regions tourism essay

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