This paper compares two Arctic cruise destinations–Ísafjörður in Iceland, and Qaqortoq in Greenland–focusing on stakeholders’ perceptions of the sustainability of cruise tourism, and how they are managing the development of the industry in the context of imbalances in power between place-bound local stakeholders and global cruise lines. Drawing on interviews with local stakeholders, the paper argues that destination development stage and the relative importance of land-based tourism frame the ways in which stakeholders perceive the sustainability of cruise tourism. While there were differences in the emphasis placed on environmental, socio-cultural and economic aspects of sustainability in each destination, there were similarities in the ways in which stakeholders conceptualised relations between the different aspects in terms of trade-offs and competition, together with a lack of a holistic perspective and concern about economic dependence on global cruise lines. The findings suggest that intergovernmental agreements are needed to address regulatory issues and that national coordination may help to improve collaboration between destinations.
- Cruise tourism
- arctic destinations