The Arctic and tourism: acclimatization aspects of cross-regional travels

Theme 1. Environmental protection
Session Name 1.7 Arctic tourism and global change
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Elena Grigorieva (Institute for Complex Analysis of Regional Problems Far Eastern Branch Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation)
Abstract text

Scenery, climate and price are the most critical criteria in destination attractiveness for tourists. Climate determines variety of decision-making processes: length of the tourist season, or when and where to go for a holiday. During travels, people are often exposed to thermal conditions that are quite different to those at home. The Acclimatization Thermal Strain Index for Tourism (ATSIT) is developed to quantify the physiological cost of the adjustment process.Global tourism demand is mostly concentrated on indicatively like tourist destinations. At the same time, the powerful Arctic images magnetize people from all over the world. The present study examines consequences for travelling to and from the Arctic region during the main seasons. ATSIT is analyzed for movements between popular destinations and the Arctic locales. Data used are mean monthly maximum air temperature with mean monthly relative humidity from Weatherbase, approximating afternoon climatic conditions when tourists are most likely to be exposed to environmental conditions outdoors. The results detect that acclimatizing to cold comes with greater physiological strain than acclimatizing to heat. The greatest acclimatization impact comes changing location from hot-humid to cold-dry climatic conditions, which might cause high physiological strain. ATSIT projections show the most harmful degree of discomfort for travels to the Arctic region during winter season. The locals might be exposed to severe discomfort when moving to the popular tourist destinations in summer. The information could be useful for tourism providers and public health services for addition safety measures that might be taken to help lessen impacts.

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