Cruising the marginal ice zone: climate change and Arctic tourism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The effects of climate change are leading to pronounced physical and ecological changes in the Arctic Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ). These are not only of concern for the research community but also for the tourism industry dependent on this unique marine ecosystem. Tourists increasingly become aware that the Arctic as we know it may disappear due to several environmental threats, and want to visit the region before it becomes irrevocably changed. However, ‘last-chance tourism’ in this region faces several challenges. The lack of infrastructure and appropriate search and rescue policies are examples of existing issues in such a remote location. Additionally, tourism itself may further amplify the physical and ecological changes in the Arctic region. In this article, we provide an interdisciplinary analysis of the links between the MIZ, climate change and the tourism industry. We also identify existing regulations and the need for new ones concerning operations in the MIZ and in the Arctic Ocean.