The creation of the Nunavik is a major step forward, both for the Province of Québec and its Inuit population. Not only does it underline the recognition of the Inuit people and their identity but it also stresses the importance of discussing some fundamental issues regarding the emancipation of the Inuit, their empowerment, the development and management of the northern resources of Québec, and the protection and conservation of the fragile Nordic ecosystems.
Rich in culture and scenery, Nunavik has identified tourism as one of the main and best suited avenue for economic development. But before Nunavik can truly enjoy the benefits of a well established tourism "industry", many challenges need to be met. The development of tourism in a new destination is not only challenging but it requires human efforts, political and economic will over a large amount of time without much guaranties as to what will work or not.
It is in this context that in August 2008, the members of the newly created International Polar Tourism Research Network (IPTRN), including researchers from around the world, came to Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik - the northernmost part of Québec, to discuss how tourism can play a role in regional development. The collection of articles presented here is the result of the coming together of these polar tourism researchers.
Such a book does not claim to address ail issues facing the polar destinations. It is nevertheless a base for reflection. Like Nunavik, many of the new emerging regions of the circumpolar world are experimenting with new powers and responsibilities. For scientists, this is an excellent time to assist with the experiences that have been well documented from other Northern, Arctic and polar regions.
For the tourism industry, including officiais, this book is meant to offer a range of perspectives on how challenges can be met and how solutions can be implemented for the benefit of ail local interests.