Last updated: 01:17 PM ET, Thu October 06 2016

What Does Arctic Cruise Boom Mean for Indigenous Communities?

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | October 06, 2016

What Does Arctic Cruise Boom Mean for Indigenous Communities?

PHOTO: Northwest Passage (photo courtesy Thinkstock)  


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Crystal Cruises just completed a successful navigation of the Northwest Passage, a first for such a large luxury liner. But many more are coming. 

According to the Guardian, while the voyage was a success, authorities in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut are considering new regulations on marine tourism. 

“Now that marine tourism is a significant and steadily growing presence in the territory,” Bernie MacIsaac of Nunavut’s department of economic development told the Guardian, “it is important that new legislation be created that will effectively regulate the sector.”

While many ports have received cruise ships over the years, Crystal Serenity far eclipsed them in size. 

“We didn’t really know how it would impact us or how we would feel about the day,” Vicki Aitaok, a local tour operator who coordinated the visit, told the Guardian. 

While the overall feeling was that Arctic tourism can play a role in the region and the visit was a boon to the economy, Aitaok and others also realized they needed limitations. 

“There just aren’t that many people here,” she said. “For us here, because we have such minimal resources, we need at least a day between each ship.”

 READ MORE: Cruising to the Extremes: Arctic and Antarctic Poles  

“Authorities are mindful of the need to strike a balance between regulating tourists and ensuring communities can maximize the benefits of mass tourism,” noted the Guardian. 

For more on regulating the Arctic, read on here

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