Arctic 'concessions' and icebreaker diplomacy? Chinese tourism development in Iceland

 Edward H. Huijbensaa & Dominic Alessiob

a:Icelandic Tourism Research Institute, University of Akureyri, Akureyri, Iceland

b:Richmond, The American International University in London, Richmond-upon-Thames, UK

【Abstract】 This paper is based on a case study on a Chinese investment proposal in Iceland and sets out to explore the different ways in which actors from different backgrounds, with an extensive range of expectations and ideas of what a destination could and should be, produce and sustain ideas about tourism development. Our point of departure is how tourism represents a new globalised economic expansion possibly reflecting processes of empire building of days gone by. This research suggests that the conflicting worlds of Chinese investment plans, seemingly pregnant with imperial aspirations, core-periphery dichotomies, as well as contesting ideas of regional development, represent a need to begin re-thinking our understanding of tourism regional development from the perspective of what empires are.

【Keyword】 politics and tourism, stakeholders, periphery, territoriality, China, Iceland