Glacier tourism and tourist reviews: an experiential engagement with the concept of “Last Chance Tourism”

Z. Abrahams, G. Hoogendoorn, J. M. Fitchett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A growing body of literature frames Last Chance Tourism as a key motivation for tourists visiting glaciers. Much of the discourse considers the contradiction of tourists contributing to the degradation of what they recognise to be a threatened attraction. Due to the significant acceleration of glacial retreat, glaciers and glacier tourism are a key focus. This paper explores the extent to which the “Last Chance” lexicon extends to the tourists’ vocabulary when reflecting on their visits to Sólheimajökull Glacier and three glaciers distributed across the two hemispheres, through an analysis of 2004 TripAdvisor User Generated Content (UGC) reviews written between 2017 and 2019. The reviews reveal that a quarter of tourists are explicitly engaging in the “Last Chance” discourse. Topics of tourist satisfaction, access to the glacier, weather and guided tours are more common. For those who do mention the “Last Chance” aspect, commentary on the aesthetics of the glacier, a recognition of the impact of climate change, and warnings to future travelers are captured with no clear indication of experiences leading to an ambassadorship. The tourists engage in a vicious cycle enhancing the retreat of glaciers by viewing them. Understanding these perspectives is critical in managing these destinations sustainably.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Last Chance Tourism
  • TripAdvisor
  • climate change
  • glaciers
  • user generated content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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