Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 359

359 Arctic Yearbook 2014   Järviluoma 1998; Kuyek & Coumans 2003: 18; Johansen & Skryzhevska 2013). Tourism is often a desperate ‘last resort’ (Kauppila et al. 2009: 432) in terms of economic development and diversification in peripheral areas. Hence, it often fails to redeem its promise as a saviour of the economy in peripheries, especially in areas where it too, despite receiving support, proves to be unsustainable (Schmallegger & Carson 2010: 202). There are examples of successful economic restructuring of mining communities in the Barents region. For example, Kolari in Finnish Lapland (Jussila & Järviluoma 1998) where regional policies were activated to support the growth of tourism after the closure of local mines and Kirkenes near the Norwegian-Russian border (Viken et al. 2008) have diversified and transformed their economic base to adapt to restructuring of local mining industry. Moreover, Atikokan in north-western Ontario shows another example of successful adaptation to the closure of the mining industry. In Atikokan several small enterprises in various economic fields were the main drivers of the transformation of the community’s economic base (Keyes 1992: 37–41). However, the relatively big local populations in mining communities of the Russian North make their economic transformation more problematic than in similar cases in natural resource peripheries of Scandinavia and Canada. Development of small enterprises is unable to bring a major impact to local employment, which is usually the target of local economic diversification efforts. In several single-industry towns and resource regions in Russia there are significant unused recreational resources and seemingly obvious opportunities for economic diversification, which could be well-suited to domestic and international tourism (Tynkkynen 2007; Tul’chinskiy et al. 2011: 178). In several localities of the Russian North ecologically valuable locations are also bases for abundant natural resources (Tynkkynen 2007). These ecologically valuable places could offer opportunities for the development of tourism. However, the extraction of natural resources, such as mineral resources and oil, often damages the ecological sites that tourists could come and see. Therefore, a potential conflict of interests often exists in these natural resource localities. The nature potential for tourism is also evident in the Murmansk region. Nature here offers similar opportunities to develop nature-based tourism as in Finnish Lapland (V. Gorbunov, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Economic Development of the Government of the Murmansk region, personal communication in Murmansk, June 19, 2012; A. Popova, The head of the Tourism Information Centre of the administration of Kirovsk, personal communication in Kirovsk, June 9, 2012). Local cultures and values in communities without a history of tourism often present obstacles to economic diversification into tourism. Hence, despite the potential, several structural issues, such as a prevailing mono-culture and a local industrial path hinder economic diversification and a postindustrial transition from a resource economy or one with an industrial legacy to the service sector (e.g. Toropova et al. 2007). Moreover, in mining communities, post-industrial problems, such as a spoiled nature or environment, hamper opportunities for economic diversification into tourism. Therefore, the emergence of a new industry, such as tourism, may give rise to conflicts between different industries’ interests. Moreover, while mining offers a stable all-year-round income, tourism will struggle to do so because of its seasonality (e.g. Grenier 2007: 70). Hence, diversifying from mining to tourism is especially challenging. Consequently, for various reasons, tourism should only Resource-Based Development & the Challenge of Economic Diversification