Title: Tourism and the challenge of Arctic governance

Authors: Tereza Horejsova; Cody Morris Paris

Addresses: Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of International Studies, Charles University of Prague, Rytirska 31, Prague 1, 110 00, Czech Republic ' School of Law, Middlesex University Dubai, Knowledge Village, Block 16, P.O. Box 500697, Dubai, UAE

Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between tourism and the challenges of governance in the Arctic region. Recently, both political and academic interest in the Arctic has been on the rise as a result of the increasing geopolitical importance of the region. Changes of the climatic conditions and melting of the Arctic ice caps have resulted in increased access to the 'world's last wilderness'. The increased access and interest are contributing to a growing number of tourists visiting the North. As yearly arrivals continue to rise, a number of problematic issues need to be addressed. This paper reviews the main instruments relevant to the discussion of tourism currently employed in the governance of the Arctic, and critically evaluates the insufficiencies of the current legal framework for Arctic governance and regulation of tourism in the Arctic. It concludes that although tourism in the Arctic has a number of advantages, particularly for the indigenous populations, the current legal and regulatory framework in the region lacks the scope and authority to minimise the potential (and increasing) environmental, economic, and social risks associated with increased tourism and other human activity in the region.

Keywords: international organisations; polar tourism; geopolitics; sustainable development; climate change; global warming; Arctic governance; sustainability; indigenous populations; environmental risks; economic risks; social risks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2013.054050

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2013 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.113 - 127

Published online: 02 Jul 2014 *

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