Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Dorthe Eide and Einar Lier Madsen
Chapter 13: Innovation and climate change: the role of network relations and the attitudes of tourism actors on Svalbard
Case studies from all over the world demonstrate that weather factors, such as temperature, precipitation and winds, influence tourism (Rauken & Kelman, 2012). Climate is a determining factor for visiting a destination, and it affects the activities that tourists can undertake when they are on location (Becken & Hay, 2007). However, the weather is changing due to global climate change, which brings uncertainties and extreme conditions to tourism destinations (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007). The Arctic is one of the regions where the effects of climate change, such as increases in temperature and precipitation, are expected to occur sooner and be more severe than anywhere else in the world (Forland et al., 2009; Rauken & Kelman, 2012). At the same time, Arctic tourism is a growing industry in which the popular destination Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago, plays an important role. The average temperature on Svalbard has increased by five degrees Celsius over the last 10-15 years (Jorfald, 2007), and the neighboring Arctic ice cap is only half the size it was 50 years ago (Borgerson, 2008). The winter of 2012 is considered to have been a record warm and iceless season (NOAA National Climatic Data Center, 2012). Climate change is no longer a remote future event for tourism; various impacts are becoming evident. Our ëpolar explorersí described in the narrative at the beginning of this chapter travelled to Svalbard to experience Arctic conditions.
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