Polar adventure tourism is growing rapidly leading to increasing risk of accidents and more stress on local emergency preparedness. The objective of the phd research is to explore the relationship between guides competences and ensuring safety in the field. The study pays attention to key issues for ensuring safe travel in Arctic environments: polar adventure guide’s risk perception, guide’s training, safety practices and emergency preparedness strategies in the Arctic region. The target population for the study includes adventure guides working in Iceland, Svalbard and Greenland. The research main objective is to explore the relationship between guides competences and ensuring tourist safety in the field and examine how is safety ensured in practice.
The PhD research project is divided into four work packages:
1) defining guide competences and building safety guiding theory
2) examining guide’s risk perception, case study on Arctic Nature Guide students
3) exploring safety competence building among indigenous guides in Greenland *
4) investigating cooperation between search and rescue organizations and guides in the region.
The scientific contribution of the research is to contribute with novel theory in polar adventure tourism and raise involvement of scientific research in policy making in arctic tourism destinations. The long-term value of the studies on society includes practical applications of research findings, providing safety framework in polar adventure tourism and enhancing involvement of local guides in research and innovation.
Work package 1 is currently ongoing and will be accomplished by June 2021. Work package 3 will be carried in Greenland in 2022-2023, therefore it is excluded from the further description in Arctic Field Grant application.