Tourism in Arctic Regions
While European countries still receive the greatest proportion of tourists in the world, the current rate of arrivals is lower than the world average. In 1985, European countries received 65 per cent of the world’s tourists. By 1993, this had fallen to below 60 per cent.
Tourism flows to Europe are mainly to destinations in Westarn and Southern Europe. These areas account for 70 per cent of arrivals and 76 per cent of total European receipts. This tourism concentration is the result of European holiday taking habits which mainly revolve around beach tourism during the summer months.
Tourism travel into northern and Arctic areas of Scandinavia has a fairly long history. Modern transport infrastructure and transport services greatly aided the early tourist development in the Scandinavian case in the 1890s.
Example: The Arctic – increasingly popular with tourists
After the commercial focus on tourism in Longyearbyen (Norway) started up in the early 1990s, this activity has exhibited strong growth in Norvegian Arctic.
Precise figures are not available, but estimates indicate that more than 40 000 tourists arrived in Svalbard by plane in 2008 and around 30 000 came by sea. Tourist enterprises in Svalbard had turnover of NOK 291 million in 2007 and accounted for 200-plus of the 1 600 man-years of labour performed in the islands.
From 1995 to 2008, the number of guest nights in Longyearbyen rose from just over 30 000 to just about 89 000.
The average guest spent 2.2 nights in hotels. Tourists account for 60 per cent of guest nights, while the remainder are shared evenly between business travelers and course and conference attendees. Tourism on Svalbard is seasonal, with the fewest visiting in the autumn and winter months and the most in spring and summer.…
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