Friday 2. May 2014

Interaction between Cruise Tourism and Land-based Tourism

On Monday, May 5, at 16:00, Lucian Reniţă will present his master's thesis in Coastal and Marine Management, titled: A socio-economic assessment of the interaction between cruise tourism and land-based tourism in Isafjodur, Iceland. 

His thesis advisor is Dr. Gabriela Sabău, from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, MUN/visiting faculty at UW, and the reader is Dr. Cristi Frenț, a specialist at the The Icelandic Tourism Research Centre (ITRC).

The presentation will start at 16:00 and takes place in room 6 at the University Centre. Everyone is welcome.


Historically, Isafjordur (population 3000), the main town of the Westfjords region of Iceland, has been a fishing town, but in recent years, tourism has become increasingly important, developing around the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area. Both land-based and cruise tourism have increased, but cruise tourism has increased much faster, with the passenger capacity of the larger cruise-ships matching and even exceeding the population of the town itself.
Cruise tourism typically has the characteristics of mass tourism, and brings less income than land-based tourism, while bearing a number of hidden costs, some of which are associated with negative impacts on the experience of land-based tourists. This raises a number of issues regarding the capacity of the town to accommodate both cruise and land-based tourists, and the way in which these two segments interact, particularly how and whether cruise tourism impacts land-based tourism operations, and what kind of development of cruise tourism is desirable for the town if any at all, such that the town economy benefits most.
Research methods included surveys of the international land-based tourists to Isafjordur and local businesses, semi-structured interviews with local businesses and experts, and an analysis of both primary and of secondary data from surveys and interviews and from the official records of the harbour authorities.
Results showed that cruise tourism has both positive and negative impacts on land-based tourism, although at the current level of cruise tourism, the negative impacts were rather low, with the main issues arising from competition for similar services for cruise and land-based tourists. Cruise tourism likely had a lower direct economic impact than land-based tourism, and lower spending per tourist. However, while larger cruise-ships generated an overall higher income, smaller cruise-ships tended to generate higher income per passenger, both for the harbour and for the local businesses, with fewer negative impacts.
After considering several scenarios, it appears likely that cruise tourism and land-based tourism in Isafjordur can develop together, and that, to some extent, cruise tourism may support land-based tourism and both may be compatible with sustainable tourism, provided that the town imposes some restrictions on the visiting cruise-ships, such as a cap on their passenger capacity. This may also be the more economically efficient solution as well, depending on the town‘s policies and objectives.

Advisor: Gabriela Sabău

Reader: Cristi Frenț