The role of sport tourism in crisis struck resource communities in the northern periphery

Theme 2. Connectivity
Session Name 2.6 Tourism, mobilities and globalization in the Arctic
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Tor-Arne Gjertsen (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Abstract text

The role of sport tourism in crisis-struck resource communities in the northern periphery:

In a study of the Canadian Death Race (CDR) in Grand Cache, a crisis struck coal-mining community in northern Alberta, Canada, Hinch and Holt (2016) found, as expected, that participant’s attachment to the place where the competition took place was low. All the participants in this ultramarathon (120 km) race in 2015 came from outside.The extreme sport event put Grand Cache ‘on the map’ in a positive way, but it did not really help solve any of the social and economic problems the community was facing because of shut downs, bankruptcies and lay-offs in mining, their corner stone industry. However, in their study of CDR, Hinch and Holt were more concerned with the sustainability of the event than that of the community; even if they presumed the two were closely connected and inter-dependent. They predict that the ultra-sport event would not be sustainable for much longer, if the people of Grand Cache did not “promote a sense of community celebration and support for CDR.”[1]

We would like to test this assumption through a comparison of sport-tourism events in two crisis struck mining towns in northern Canada and Norway, the ‘Emperor’s Challenge’, a half-marathon mountain race in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, and ‘Svalbard Ski Marathon’ in Longyear City, on Spitzbergen.



[1] Hinch&Holt (2016), ‘Sustaining places and participatory sport tourism events’. In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism (11)





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