|dc.description.abstract||Modern land-based tourism in Longyearbyen had its beginning in the early 90s, but ships with tourists visiting Svalbard can be traced back as far as 1807. Over the past 20 years, the interest in Svalbard as a tourist destination has increased significantly, which has led to a rapid increase in the number of visitors. This relatively young industry have had to constantly adapt to this increased number of visitors while also handling challenges related to high turnover, changing climatic conditions, limited infrastructure, and a lack of experience knowledge (the Arctic operational context). This dynamic situation coupled with the natural risks of adventure tourism requires a high focus on safety. As of today, there are few and ambiguous regulations regarding safety management within the tourist industry on Svalbard. This study seeks to investigate how reporting is used to increase the knowledge of safety in companies operating guided snowmobile tours on Svalbard. A series of qualitative interviews (n=10) with nature guides and managers from four companies with varied sizes will be used to investigate the use of reporting systems and possible learning processes used to increase knowledge within the companies.
This study has identified two main approaches to reporting incidents in the industry, informal oral reporting, and formal written reporting. In addition, we have seen that the companies in this study have multiple reporting systems to report different information within one company, such as accidents and safety information (i.e., conditions in the field). This study also found that information is shared between the guides in informal arenas like the morning coffee. This process was mentioned in all companies where the guides started their working day at the same time and is believed to be valuable for the company’s safety.
Learning within the companies also seem to be separated in two main approaches. Companies with a formal written reporting system focus on organizational learning and facilitate externalization. This approach is rooted in modern safety theory (Reason, 1997). Companies with an informal oral reporting system focus on individual learning and favor organizational learning through socialization. This approach is common in the traditional Norwegian outdoor education. The lessons learned from organizational learning is implemented through continuous improvement of routines and rules. Rule development is done by using a bottom-up approach, which utilizes the information gathered through the reporting systems.||en_US