The footprint of Polar tourism

The footprint of Polar tourism: Tourist behaviour at cultural heritage sites in Antarctica and Svalbard

Ricardo Mariano Roura
Volume: 7
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Barkhuis
Pages: 306
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13wwxxt
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The footprint of Polar tourism
    Book Description:

    This thesis aims to describe and interpret the effects of tourism on historic sites in Antarctica and Svalbard (also known as Spitsbergen), and to assess the implications for management. Explorers, whalers, seal hunters, scientists and others have left many material remains in the Polar Regions that are significant because they tell the history of the exploration and exploitation of these regions. Contemporary polar tourism represents a new phase in this exploration and exploitation of the Polar Regions. The potential for the transformation of historic sites has increased following the substantial expansion of polar tourism in recent decades. Key cultural heritage sites are regularly included in standard tourist itineraries and are also the subject of specialized tourism. In this context, the central research question of this thesis is: What are the effects of tourism on polar historic sites, and what are the implications of this for the management of tourism and these historic sites?

    eISBN: 978-94-91431-59-3
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  3. Dedication
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xv-xviii)
    Ricardo M. Roura
  5. ABSTRACT
    (pp. 1-4)

    This thesis aims to describe and interpret the effects of tourism on historic sites in Antarctica and Svalbard (also known as Spitsbergen), and to assess the implications for management. Explorers, whalers, seal hunters, scientists and others have left many material remains in the Polar Regions that are significant because they tell the history of the exploration and exploitation of these regions. Contemporary polar tourism represents a new phase in this “exploration” and exploitation of the Polar Regions. The potential for the transformation of historic sites has increased following the substantial expansion of polar tourism in recent decades. Key cultural heritage...

  6. 1 General introduction
    (pp. 5-50)

    Many historic sites in the Polar Regions look abandoned, seemingly unchanged since their original occupants left them. This impression is only broken by the increasingly common sight of tourists walking around, looking at the sights and documenting them in photography and film. When historic sites become regular tourism destinations they may experience changes to their condition, appearance, and assigned values. In this context, the objective of this thesis is to describe and interpret the effects of tourism on historic sites in Antarctica and Svalbard, and to assess the implications for management.

    These issues are topical because polar historic sites have...

  7. 2 Research methods
    (pp. 51-84)

    During the conduct of tourism at polar historic sites people and material culture overlap temporarily and spatially as a single behavioural phenomenon. “People” may be represented by individual tourists or groups of tourists, or by other kinds of visitors. “Artefacts” may refer to historic elements present at the sites; to the elements brought by tourists such as photographic cameras; and to site features altered by tourism or other cultural processes. Finally, there are external factors represented by the environmental features surrounding historic sites, and by the natural processes affecting them. Identifying methods of research suited for use in investigating the...

  8. 3 Regulating Antarctic tourism and the precautionary principle
    (pp. 85-108)

    Antarctic tourism is a rapidly growing industry. From 1958 until 1987, an average of fewer than 1,000 tourists visited Antarctica each season. In the 1993-1994 season, the tourists visiting Antarctica outnumbered the scientists for the first time.¹ In recent years (1999-2003), between 13,000 and 15,000 tourists made landings in Antarctica (IAATO, 2003),² and during the last season (2003–2004) this number increased by 45 percent to more than 19,500 (Fig. 3.1) (IAATO, 2004a). The estimate of total passengers for the 2003-2004 season, including those not landing, is over 27,000. This trend is likely to continue. In recent years, much larger...

  9. 4 Monitoring the transformation of historic features in Antarctica and Svalbard: Local processes and regional contexts
    (pp. 109-144)

    The exploration and exploitation of the Polar Regions has left a legacy of material remains spread over the landscape. These include exploration remains such as base camps, wrecks of ships, airships, docks and mooring masts; exploitation remains including huts and depots of hunters and trappers, and ruins of structures associated with whaling, sealing, and mining; and graves, crosses and other memorials. To the casual visitor some of these sites may appear to be timeless and unchanging, a capsule of times past that has apparently been frozen in the polar environment. This perception is reflected, for instance, in narratives about huts...

  10. 5 Antarctic scientific bases: Environmental and cultural heritage perspectives 1983-2008
    (pp. 145-164)

    Following the entry into force of the 1991 Protocol of Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (hereafter the Protocol), Antarctic Treaty parties have had to take action on their abandoned or underused scientific bases, while protecting those that have historic value. The Protocol and other Antarctic Treaty instruments protect sites of recognised historic value that have been designated as Historic Sites and Monuments (HSMs). Historic remains predating 1958 whose existence or present location is not known have also a degree of protection.¹ However, the remains of past activities that are not otherwise protected are subject to be removed under Protocol...

  11. 6 The polar cultural heritage as a tourism attraction A case study of the airship mooring mast at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard
    (pp. 165-180)

    How does cultural heritage in the Polar Regions operate as a tourist attraction? What is the role of tourism narratives in creating a tourism attraction? These are the questions addressed in this paper, which explores how historic sites in the Polar Regions are transformed in attractions and consumable tourism products through the use of narratives. The analysis is based on a case study of visitation to the airship mooring mast (the mast) built at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, for the 1926 “Amundsen-Ellsworth-Nobile Transpolar Flight” of the airshipNorge(Fig. 6. 1). The mast is known locally as “Amundsen’s mast.”

    Polar tourism combines...

  12. 7 From extraction to exhibition: Tourism at a disused marble quarry at Ny-London, Svalbard
    (pp. 181-202)

    “Spitsbergen bids fair to become not only a great mining country but the grandest [tourism] playground in Europe” (Brown, 1919)

    The economic potential of both mining and tourism in the High Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen¹ has long been recognised (Brown, 1919; Conway, 1919) and both industries remain priority areas for the economic development of the region (Viken and Jørgensen, 1998; Norway, 2004: 3). The interface of these two industries is represented

    by organised tourism at mining sites, both active and inactive. This chapter explores the broad themes of research technology, use of territory, and heritage at the former site of...

  13. 8 Cultural heritage tourism in Antarctica and Svalbard: Patterns, impacts, and policies
    (pp. 203-224)

    For several centuries the Polar Regions have been the focus of activities of people originating from outside these regions, including explorers, whalers, seal hunters, and scientists. Their activities have left many material remains in the polar landscape such as supply depots, huts and shelters, industrial remains, research stations, and crosses, graves and other memorials. These and similar cultural remains are significant, among other reasons, because they tell the history of polar exploration and exploitation of the Polar Regions. Following on those earlier activities, contemporary polar tourism represents a new phase in the ‘exploration’ and exploitation of the Polar Regions. Many...

  14. 9 Overview and synthesis
    (pp. 225-248)

    Tourism can be examined on different spatial, temporal and behavioural scales (LaMotta and Schiffer, 2001; Heilenet al., 2008).This chapter provides an overview of how polar tourism functions on these different scales, linking it with both the main theoretical framework outlined at the outset of this thesis, and the empirical findings of this research (Figs. 9.1-9.4). In addition, it summarises the management issues that result from the interaction of tourism and historic sites. The focus of this overview is tourism in Antarctica and Svalbard, although the broad considerations may also be applicable elsewhere in the Polar Regions.

    The main systemic...

  15. 10 General conclusions
    (pp. 249-260)

    Antarctica and Svalbard lacked indigenous people and were regarded asterra nullius. Following discovery they became the subject of successive waves of activity centred on exploration, the exploitation of natural resources, and the assertion of territorial claims. The timing and tempo of these developments varied in each region on account of different historic and geographic contexts, but some parallels are apparent. Both regions are subject to international treaties from which substantially different regimes of governance have emerged: a national (Norwegian) regime for Svalbard, and an international regime for Antarctica. Under these regimes both regions have been designated as protected natural...

  16. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 261-264)
    Ricardo M. Roura
  17. References
    (pp. 265-286)
  18. Epilogue
    (pp. 287-290)

    This research began formally in March 2005. Since then several events relevant to tourism and historic sites, individually and in interaction with each other, have taken place both in Antarctica and in Svalbard. These events highlight both the dynamic nature of polar tourism and the active role of polar historic sites in contemporary social systems, or systemic context.

    In 2004 IAATO had predicted 32,500 ship borne Antarctic tourists for the 2008-09 season (Fig. 3.1). The actual number of tourists that season was over 37,000 shipborne, airborne and land-based tourists.¹ However, this was substantially down from the peak-to-date of over 46,000...

  19. Appendix 1 Acronyms and abbreviations
    (pp. 291-291)
  20. Appendix 2 Glossary
    (pp. 292-296)
  21. Appendix 3 Cultural heritage in the 2001 Svalbard Act
    (pp. 297-299)
  22. Appendix 4 Cultural heritage in the 1991 Antarctic Protocol
    (pp. 300-300)
  23. Appendix 5 List of interviewees
    (pp. 301-302)
  24. Nederlandse Samenvatting
    (pp. 303-306)