Constraints and Opportunities in the Development of Diamond Tourism in Yellowknife, NWT –
Introduction In the Northwest Territories (NWT), a jurisdiction that is part of Canada’s sub-Arctic and Arctic region, tourism exists as an important element of the economic landscape. The leading economic driver is mining, founded upon rich deposits of gold, tungsten and, more recently, diamonds. The next largest driver is petroleum production, followed by tourism in third place. Tourism has had a long history in NWT and cannot be overlooked as a component of the present economy and as a hope for the future. Yet, the NWT economy has seen considerable change over the last decade as a result of global economic and political events. For tourism, these events included the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Canadian outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) crisis. The NWT tourism industry was negatively affected by these events because of its strong dependence on international travelers, particularly Japanese and American visitors, segments that were sensitive to the personal security implications of these global events (Government of the Northwest Territories [GNWT] 2003).