NS29 Session 17

29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times

21-23 September 2021


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Title: Options and Needs for Wilderness Tourism

Organisers: Antje Neumann and Þorvarður Árnason

Affiliation:  The University of Akureyri and Hornafjordur Research Centre, The University of Iceland



Polar regions with vast wilderness areas and unique species of wildlife are well-known tourism destinations. Under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, where traditional touristic markets such as big cities around the world, Asian Pacific resorts or South American cultural heritage centres become closed and increasingly vague, the Antarctic and the Arctic might be seen as relatively stable and experience a soon revival of visitation. Under such a scenario, an already diminishing wilderness in these regions will be exposed to increased and diversified human pressures. Based on this background, this session seeks to discuss wilderness values and management tools in the light of recent and planned tourism studies, primarily but not exclusively in the Arctic. Topics may be found within but not limited to the following themes: (1) wilderness mapping in Iceland and its potential applications for tourism purposes; (2) the economic and other values of a designation of the Icelandic Central Highlands as a National Park; (3) the important, and so far less-considered role of solitude of wilderness in the context of management and protection; (4) possibilities for tradable visitation permits for encountering pristine landscapes and Antarctic wildlife; and (5) tourism regulations and management instruments in the Arctic wilderness.