Perceived Impacts of Tourism In the Arctic

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This research delineates the perceptions of tourism in the Arctic. It deploys a qualitative study to disentangle the complicity of perceived impacts amongst three types of tourism stakeholders: (1) residents, (2) tourists, and (3) tourism professionals working in hotels, tour operations, restaurants, tourist information centers, and tourism planning agencies within the study region. This study transpires in Finnmark, which is one of the most visited Arctic destinations. Sixty-eight personal interviews are conducted in six towns and cruise ships sailing through the study region. Consequently, the study presents six thematic views entailing (1) monetary contribution, (2) cultural proliferation, (3) community vitality, (4) personal enhancement, (5) environmental degradation, and (6) social disturbance surface as the perceived impacts of tourism among the stakeholders. Unlike most impact studies in the existing literature, this research shows that monetary contribution is not necessarily the key perceived benefit of tourism. Instead, social factors, such as achieving a vibrant community life, could also be a valuable contribution of tourism in the case of this region in northern Norway. Lastly, discussions from theoretical and practice perspectives are rendered along with suggestions for future research.

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Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change

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