Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Polar Tourism: Ethical Issues

  • Margaret E. JohnstonEmail author
  • Jackie Dawson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_346-1



Tourism activity in the polar regions has garnered considerable research and government interest (Stewart et al. 2017). Though tourism numbers are small compared to mainstream destinations, the stakes in polar tourism are high given the pressures exerted by industry growth in combination with environmental sensitivities and global influences including climate change and resource development. The Arctic and the Antarctic share some similarities, but the differences are significant in respect of tourism development and potential. Nonetheless, the ethics of polar tourism for both regions fall under the broad concerns of sustainable tourism and ecotourism, reflecting ethical questions around behavior of the industry and tourists, impacts on the environment and people, and the extent of local involvement, with a view to developing tourism that is sustainable and appropriate.

Toward Sustainable Tourism Through Ethics

The tourism...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Dawson J, Stewart EJ, Lemelin H et al (2010) The carbon cost of polar bear viewing in Churchill, Canada. J Sustain Tour 18:319–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dawson J, Johnston ME, Stewart EJ et al (2011) Ethical considerations of last chance tourism. J Ecotour 10(3):250–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Eijgelaar E, Thaper C, Peeters P (2010) Antarctic cruise tourism: the paradoxes of ambassadorship, “last chance tourism” and greenhouse gas emissions. J Sustain Tour 18:337–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fennell DA, Malloy DC (2007) Codes of ethics in tourism: practice, theory, synthesis. Channel View Publications, ClevedonGoogle Scholar
  5. Frew E (2012) Advertising world heritage sites: tour operators and last chance destinations. In: Lemelin RH, Dawson J, Stewart E (eds) Last chance tourism: adapting tourism opportunities in a changing world. Routledge, London, pp 117–132Google Scholar
  6. Grimwood BSR, Fennell DA (2011) Meditative thinking for polar tourism research and codes of ethics. In: Grenier AA, Müller DK (eds) Polar tourism: a tool for regional development. Presses de l’Université du Québec, Quebéc, pp 87–108Google Scholar
  7. Lemelin RH, Dawson J, Stewart EJ, Maher PT, Lueck M (2010). Last chance tourism: The doom, the gloom and the boom of visiting vanishing destinations. Current Issues in Tourism, 13(5):477–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Maher PT (2011) Ambassadors for the experience: perspectives from the Ross Sea region. In: Maher PT, Stewart EJ, Lück M (eds) Polar tourism: human, environmental and governance dimensions. Cognizant Communications, Elmsford, pp 121–141Google Scholar
  9. Powell R, Kellert SP, Sam HH (2008) Antarctic tourists: ambassadors or consumers? Polar Record, 44(3):223–241Google Scholar
  10. Stewart EJ, Liggitt D, Dawson J (2017) The evolution of polar tourism scholarship: research themes, networks and agendas. Polar Geogr 40(1):59–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and TourismLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Environment, and GeomaticsUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joanna Kafarowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Niagara on the LakeCanada