Friday, August 17, 2007

Extreme Tourism

Svalbard again...
Managed to tape ITN news report of the Aleksey Maryshev and the ice collapse.

Once the tourists got home, they spoke to local papers.
Here's a report from the BUCKS FREE PRESS.

Another blog posting had a comment from John Thropp, who is General Manager of Stavanger Travel (I had a couple of weeks in Stavanger in the mid 80's and it's a fab place...) who stressed the dangerous nature of the place (a useful quote for us to use):

"Svalbard is no place to fool around
In a previous career, I sailed on research ships around Svalbard - this is no place to fool around, with very limited facilities. To put it in context, it is a 2 hour flight Rome to Oslo, another 2 hours north to Tromso, then nearly another 2 hours to Svalbard (and 1 more to the north pole).
Most of the few people that live there are on a 1-year tax-free contract - Longyearbyen literally is a LongYearTown!"

Two of the tourists were from Scotland and the Scotsman had a useful quote:
You will need to know the terms that are in BOLD for the exam...

"The ship was near to an ice shelf and a part of the glacier calved off. We understand that some of the smaller pieces of ice and water were washed on to the ship's deck and seven passengers were injured.

"None of them have life threatening injuries and two were more seriously injured than the others, but they are in a stable position and have been moved to Tromso.

Jan Tommervold, a deputy sheriff in Svalbard, said 18 people had been injured.

Glaciers naturally break apart as they slide downhill but many are shrinking more quickly than usual because of global warming, which is blamed by almost all scientists on emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.


The Arctic - and particularly the relatively accessible Svalbard Islands - are increasingly being dubbed the new playground for the rich as climate change tourism takes off.

Ironically, as global warming slowly destroys the fragile ecology of the region, so it takes the harsh edge off the environment and makes it increasingly attractive to holidaymakers. As glaciers melt into the Arctic Ocean, the ships are able to reach previously inaccessible areas.

With the temperature rising in the archipelago, some 300 miles north of Norway, cruise shi

ps are taking advantage of the longer summer period where the sea is freer of ice flows.

Luxury liners took around 20,000 passengers ashore to various sites around Svalbard in 1997, but that figure had doubled by 2004.

Ten years ago, there were 35,000 visitors a year to Spitsbergen, the largest island, but last year there were 70,000 - with the number of British tourists rising most sharply."

The same post attracted this amusing comment:

You'd be a good deal safer sticking to cool, Fox's Glacier Mints. They can last anything up to twenty minutes per individual sweetie and , sucking without crunching , are a good deal less hazardous. Oh, and they taste absolutely delicious.Try some today while you await more news of these foolhardy, money-to-burn tourists.
The logo is perhaps like the global warming cartoons which show the fate of polar bears as the ice continues to melt.

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