Coastal communities are among the most rapidly changing, institutionally complex, and culturally diverse in the world, and they are among the most vulnerable to anthropogenic change. While being a driver of anthropogenic change, tourism can also provide socio-economic alternatives to declining natural resource-based livelihoods for coastal residents. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of small-scale cruise tourism on coastal community resiliency in Petersburg, Alaska. Exploring these impacts through resiliency theory’s lens of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity, we employed ethnographic research methods that emphasize emic viewpoints to determine how residents see this form of tourism affecting the resiliency of valued community culture, institutions, and traditional livelihoods. Findings indicate that with purposeful engagement in niche cruise tourism involving boats with 250 passengers or less, and an active rejection of the large cruise ship industry, Petersburg exhibits increased adaptive capacity to promote the resilience of valued community institutions and heritage. This work draws needed recognition to the diversity of activities that fall under the label of cruise tourism, including the distinct implications of smaller-scale, niche cruise tourism for the resilience of coastal communities. It also highlights the need to capture emic perspectives to understand the politics of community resiliency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)