Carmen Marer 230070516 ORTM414: Pat Maher July 20 2013 The Arctic has attracted tourist since the early 1800’s in fact the earliest arctic tourists were individual anglers, hunters, mountaineers, and adventurers who were attracted to the abundance of fish, exotic wildlife species, and their remote regions (UNEP, 2012). According to the United Nations Environment Programme it was not until the mid-1800’s when steamships and railroads aggressively expanded their transportation networks introducing mass tourism into these regions (UNEP, 2013) Polar tourism is now a mature industry providing diverse experiences and increasing clientele with expanding numbers of attractions, recreational activities, international destinations, and visitor accommodations. And now that regularly scheduled excursions are provided to both the Arctic and Antarctic it has become a collection of diverse tourism markets that appeal to equally diverse tourists. Each of these distinct markets is growing and expanding for an obvious reason, they appeal to tourists who are willing to pay for the unique experiences they offer. Each market that these Polar Regions offer allow for different tourists’ motivations, expectations, on-site behavior, and resource to become priority. Market segmentation provides a useful framework for understanding polar tourism whether it be for the use of natural and cultural resources, economic activity, or visitor behavior. All eight Arctic nations, and their seas and oceans host five markets, while Antarctica hosts most of them, with the exception of the sport fishing and hunting and the culture and heritage markets. With the reality of tourism growing so rapidly within the Polar Regions, this paper explores how some polar communities are handling the flocks of people, why are the tourist coming, how they are catching the attention of more, and of course what are the down sides to polar tourism.
The argument lies in what to do when tourism becomes a large importance for these local communities within the Polar Regions, be it Arctic or Antarctica, should they adapt to the effects of climate change? With an uncertainty of how tourists are effected these remote areas, in reality it is safe to say tourism can be seen as a source of environmental impact and change through the emissions of greenhouse gas. (Hall and Sarrinen. 2009) While it can be said that these actions are inedible the reason for the extinction of Polar Bears and the melting of icebergs and glaciers. This realisation as created a phenomenon of a last chance voyage for many adventure seeking tourists. This travel trend has been reported as disappearing tourism, doom tourism, and most commonly last chance tourism where tourists openly seek vanishing landscapes or seascapes, disappearing natural, and social heritage (Lamers et al. 2012) In 2011 NBCNews.com published an article by Laurel Delp titled ‘10 natural wonders to see before they disappear.’ This budget travel article discussed the stress on the world around us. This type of ‘last chance’ rush to certain locations seems to be a large part of marketing strategies for many tour operators and destinations. The immediacy of these timelines prompt flocks of curious eco-tourist to travel to environmentally fragile areas. In 2012 Greenland created a Toolkit due to large numbers of new tourist flocking to the area thanks to new transportation options. It was during this time that a new marketing brand was needed for the area, Greenland wanted a brand that could generate national pride internally and that could attract international tourists, investors and workers, raising its visibility in the whole range of different sectors on the global stage. (Greenland. 2013) These of course fit in perfectly with the five highly specialized market segments suggested by