Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the North. As a dynamic industry, tourism may exert powerful, often unforeseen pressures on the cultures, economies, resources, and landscapes of host communities. As a popular tourist corridor in the North, the Alaska Highway is enshrouded in a mythology based on frontier, hardship, and wilderness images. However, an examination of the Alaska Highway reveals that the tourism landscape contradicts this mythology. Indeed the tourism landscape is in the process of becoming commercial and homogenous in nature. While distinction in landscape is noted as a primary motivation for Alaska Highway travellers, more importantly, distinction is identified as a vital component of community and regional identity. In order for tourism to be a positive industry, it seems pertinent that Alaska Highway communities assess the long-term implications of mass tourism in this region and undertake appropriate, long-term planning initiatives based on community goals.
Thesis (M.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2002
Table of Contents
Introduction -- ch. 1. Bulldozers to RV's: the evolution of Alaska Highway mythology -- Myth of the Alaska Highway -- Early construction -- Early tourism -- Modern tourism -- Conclusion -- ch. 2. Alaska Highway tourism: wilderness and development issues -- Alaska Highway tourists and wilderness perceptions -- Early tourism development issues -- Alaska Highway tourism and wilderness debates -- Marketing and tourism images -- Alaska Highway development debates -- Conclusion -- ch. 3. Selling the Alaska Highway: Milepost by Milepost -- Alaska Highway RV tourism -- Examination of the Milepost -- Image representation -- Relevance to Alaska Highway communities -- The role of the Guidebook -- The Milepost tourist -- Conclusion -- ch. 4. The Alaska Highway: modern tourism and the importance of Landscape -- The Alaska Highway tourism landscape -- Discussion: the importance of landscape -- Conclusion -- Conclusion: The Alaska Highway revisited -- References cited: Primary sources; Secondary literature -- Appendix.
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