|dc.description.abstract||This study establishes an understanding of pleasure craft tourism patterns in the
Canadian Arctic from 1990-2013 with a focus on the implications for safety. Two
specific objectives were fulfilled: 1. to develop an understanding of the pleasure craft
vessel traffic and pleasure craft travel patterns, and 2. to develop an understanding of
incidents, close-calls, and safety issues.
Pleasure craft tourism in the Canadian Arctic is a relatively new industry,
although it is now the fastest growing marine sector. There is a lack of information on
these small vessels compared to larger expedition cruise ships that have been the focus
of research and management concerns. The increase in pleasure craft traffic in the
region should raise concern about traffic patterns and safety of these tourists because they are traveling in a region with limited infrastructure, services, and search and
rescue. Other issues that need examination are behaviour, monitoring, and control of
pleasure craft vessels, indicating the need for insight into vessel numbers, spatial
patterns, and vessel preparedness.
A literature review was conducted to identify the current state of pleasure craft
tourism in the Canadian Arctic. This included identifying patterns of vessel traffic,
defining pleasure craft and the management context, as well as the management context
of Antarctica and the European Arctic. The literature review concludes with the
knowledge gaps related to pleasure craft tourism that drive this study.
This research takes a quantitative approach to understanding pleasure craft
vessels in the Canadian Arctic. This study uses two main sources of data: the Pleasure
Craft Dataset, developed specifically for use in this project; and, a database of Internet
web logs (Blog File) gathered for this research. The Pleasure Craft Dataset is comprised
of information on pleasure crafts extracted from the NORDREG database (for the
purposes of this research called the NORDREG pleasure craft data), a publicly available
database collected by the Canadian Coast Guard, and data on additional vessels found
through a literature review and Internet searches. The first phase of this study involved
the analysis of the Pleasure Craft Dataset to explore spatial and temporal patterns. The
second phase of this study used content analysis on blogs with material focusing on the
experiences of pleasure craft travelers in the Canadian Arctic.
The results show an increase in pleasure craft tourism in the Canadian Arctic,
and a concentration of vessels and vessels days spent in the Northwest Passage while
demonstrating that not all vessels are reporting to NORDREG. Further, vessels days are
now greater on a per vessel basis than in the past. The results also indicate an increasing
number in pleasure craft travelers overall and the advent of larger pleasure craft vessels
to the region. Blog analysis was able to provide insight into pleasure craft travelers and
their vessels, including aspects such as: sites visited, behaviour of travelers, and
interactions with the environment. The increase in vessel numbers, larger pleasure craft
vessels in the region, and the spatial extension of vessel presence presents issues for management in the Canadian Arctic regarding growing pressure on infrastructure,
services, and search and rescue.
There is a need for further research on pleasure craft tourism in Arctic Canada.
Additional research should contribute to this sector of marine tourism by focusing on
understanding management implications related to safety, insurance, behaviour
controls and monitoring. There is also a need for research into pleasure craft tourism
experiences, the views of community members on the sector, and the role of individuals
who provide support to pleasure craft tourism formally and informally. There is also a
need for policies and guidelines to aid pleasure craft travelers, and quite possibly a
need for mandatory pleasure craft reporting to ensure appropriate monitoring and