Prospects for Polar Tourism

Editors and contributors Snyder and Stonehouse bring together a wide range of authoritative commentaries on the development and impact of polar tourism, a welcome volume in these days of growing eco-concerns. , Taking a historical look at how tourism has reached these distant and in holiday-climate terms rather inhospitable regions, these area studies engage us with the economic benefits to its peoples, some good, some perhaps less so: witness the Inuit and the opening to tourism of the North-West Passage, or the Sami beset with families on a Santa safari. Drivers are of course based around our current fascination with nature and wildlife: our planet as it has always been. The studies examine take-up and development of the different modes of accessing these regions - cruise ships being both popular and among the most manageable and highly monitored. It's not new - man was using and abusing polar regions centuries ago: responsibly-led hunting, fishing, exploration and prospecting apart, Mrs Septima Collis, on a shore excursion in Alaska 's Glacier Bay in 1890, noted in her diary the potential of her fellow-passengers climbing the glaciers with alpenstocks to destroy both the glacier and themselves. There is celebration in these chapters, there are warnings. There is scholarly research, facts and figures, presented in a readable way one expects from the world-class institutions which have contributed, including Cambridge's Scott Polar Research Institute and Tasmania's Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies. For us in the business of tourism there is input from the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators and the Insituto Fuegino del Tourism among others. Conclusions: there must be careful management and regulation of polar tourism lest we hasten its untimely end. This book offers responsible, clear and effective case studies and analyses to help achieve this. It makes a salutory read.