Marine Tourism in Nunavut: Issues and Opportunities for Economic Development in Arctic Canada

  • Margaret JohnstonEmail author
  • Jackie Dawson
  • Emma Stewart
Part of the Geographies of Tourism and Global Change book series (GTGC)


The Arctic is being influenced dramatically by climate change and new environmental conditions. As a result, there are increasing opportunities for local economic development and one of the sectors that is responding rapidly is marine tourism. In particular, Arctic cruise and yacht tourism has increased across all Arctic regions as sea ice declines and shipping season length increases with warming temperatures. The territory of Nunavut, in Arctic Canada, provides an interesting case study for examining the role of tourism in economic development in a region that is marketed as exotic and remote. Further, this is an important case study given the recent boom in marine tourism: the territory has experienced a 70% and 400% increase respectively in expedition cruise tourism and pleasure craft (yacht) tourism over the past decade. Nunavut is a settled land claim area and these changing environmental and economic conditions require focused attention within the context of adaptation to climate change and evolving self-determination. This chapter examines the place of marine tourism in economic development through the concepts of adaptation and ‘nation-building’ to explore the challenges and opportunities that are part of a complex and rapidly changing economic environment in the region of Nunavut Canada.


Marine tourism Economic development Climate change Nation-building Inuit communities Nunavut Arctic Canada 



Funding for this research was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant (435-2013-1143).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Johnston
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jackie Dawson
    • 2
  • Emma Stewart
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and TourismLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Environment and GeomaticsUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Department of Tourism, Sport and SocietyLincoln UniversityChristchurchNew Zealand

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