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Facing the elements: analysing trends in Antarctic tourism

Machiel Lamers (ICIS, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Daniela Haase (PhD Researcher at Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Bas Amelung (ICIS, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 11 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Tourism in Antarctica is rapidly growing and diversifying, which raises concerns about its impacts and the robustness of the current regulatory regime. Focusing on the analysis of past developments and trends of Antarctic tourism, this paper aims to describe the future opportunities for tourism in Antarctica.

Design/methodology/approach

Using literature on the recreation opportunity spectrum (ROS) and ecotourism opportunity spectrum (ECOS), the paper analyzes the future opportunities of Antarctic tourism and the key factors that determine the window of opportunity for Antarctic tour operators.

Findings

The analysis shows that tourism opportunities in Antarctica are defined by a combination of factors, which the authors integrate into an Antarctic tourism opportunity spectrum (ATOS). The paper argues that the opportunity settings for tourism in Antarctica vary from operations of increasing scale and efficiency to the continued development of smaller scale niche products, both of which will continue to diversify and drive the development of tourism in Antarctica.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is an attempt to transfer the concept of ROS, originally designed for the operational level of national park management, to the more strategic level of tourism trends in Antarctica. The research findings are based on stakeholder interaction within a limited number of countries.

Practical implications

The paper is a potential source of information and advice for policy makers and managers of Antarctic resources, as well as scholars interested in Antarctic tourism issues.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the ongoing debate on the regulation of tourism in Antarctica.

Keywords

Citation

Lamers, M., Haase, D. and Amelung, B. (2008), "Facing the elements: analysing trends in Antarctic tourism", Tourism Review, Vol. 63 No. 1, pp. 15-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/16605370810861017

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited