Tag Archives: tourism

A bit less crowded: Scaled-down cruise ship season gets scaled-down local welcome – until new visitor center can ramp things up

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The first large cruise ship of the year docked in Longyearbyen early Wednesday morning and, unlike previous years, there was no welcoming party by locals to greet it.

But it had nothing to do with whatever frustrations some residents have had about the crowds of visitors arriving on increasingly large ships (although there will be notably fewer of them than last year). Rather, the welcoming is briefly on hold until a more personal one is possible when a new visitor center at the dock is finished.

SCOOTER OFF: Governor overrules city, orders Hurtigruten Svalbard to immediately remove dozens of snowmobiles from open field due to complaints

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“No parking” of snowmobiles in a large field near the edge of Longyearbyen does not mean the city can violate its own code by declaring “except for a huge tourist fleet,” The Governor of Svalbard stated Friday in order demanding Hurtigruten Svalbard immediately remove dozens of its rental units from the area due to complaints from residents.

TEMPELFJORDEN TRAFFIC BAN: Governor’s closure effective immediately due to ‘several unfortunate’ intrusions on wildlife

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A ban on snowmobiles and other motor traffic in a popular travel area of Tempelfjorden is in effect immediately due to several recent incidents of wildlife being disrupted at a time when they are particularly vulnerable, The Governor of Svalbard announced Wednesday.

Taking the wild away from wildlife: Governor may close popular snowmobile areas again due to polar bear, seal disruptions

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Tip: If you’re trying to avoid disturbing polar bears they flee if they sense snowmobiles three kilometers away. If you’re not trying to avoid disturbing them you’re the reason a travel ban in areas they frequent is being considered this spring that may have profound consequences for tourism and expeditions.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 15, 2019

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“Polar bear leaps onto a Russian nuclear submarine on the search for food after the crew dumped bags of rubbish into the Arctic.” And with that headline we’re off and running with an item that’s a perfect polar trifecta of weirdness.

Ultimate penalty: Russian tour company fined 150,000 kr. for 2017 snowmobile tour accident on sea ice that killed guide

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A Russian tour company whose guides failed to properly evaluate sea ice conditions, resulting in an accident where nine snowmobiles fell through the ice and a guide was killed, has been fined 150,000 kroner, The Governor of Svalbard announced Thursday.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 27, 2018

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Mine 7 sees record income a year after other Store Norske mining ceases
A year ago Store Norske shut down nearly all of its coal mining operations, but the relatively small-scale production continuing at Mine 7 experienced a record year by achieving the first “real surplus” in the mine’s 52-year history.

Tracking the attack: Bear that attacked cruise worker was skeletal, expert says; signs of its presence on beach should have been obvious, researchers who saw it the day before say

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The cruise ship wasn’t trying to bring tourists ashore to look at a polar bear. The uneven landscape of the beach meant the animal could have been out of sight a short distance away – but a whale carcass and lots of bear tracks should have been a dead giveaway. The crew tried to scare the bear away before being forced to kill it. An expert researcher says it appears the bear was very thin.

A few more details were released Monday by officials and a lot more criticism was expressed –including from celebrities and other prominent people worldwide – about a polar bear that was fatally shot after attacking a cruise ship crew member in northern Svalbard on Saturday.

Fatally flawed: Polar bear attack on cruise ship employee revives debate about tourism in Svalbard’s remote areas

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The injured cruise ship crew member is recovering and the polar bear inflicting the wounds is dead after being shot, but the attacks resulting from the encounter are just beginning.

Bipolar disorder: Record cruise crowds bring riches, but also complaints of intrusive behavior toward kids, cabin dwellers, wildlife

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An “invasion” of cabins and a kindergarten. Attacking birds and petting reindeer. Treating everywhere outdoors as a port-a-potty and digging up wild plants to take home.

The increasing intensity and frequency of such complaints about cruise ship passengers – especially when larger ships can mean up to 8,000 extra people in a 2,000-person town – aren’t just local vs. visitor feuds. Often they’re pitting local against local, with the pro-cruise folks arguing the complaints are about a relative handful of visitors, but can result in a generally negative attitude toward all of them.