As the primary method of accessing the south side of the Alaska Range, aviation plays a critical role in providing visitor access to some of the most spectacular regions of Denali National Park and Preserve. In recent years, flightseeing and glacier-landing tourism in Denali has grown considerably, bringing with it several benefits, impacts, and challenges being felt both within the national park and in the gateway community of Talkeetna, Alaska. This paper seeks to integrate sustainable tourism planning, stakeholder perspectives, and national park management using Talkeetna and Denali as a case study. Specifically, this research uses qualitative methods to document stakeholder-identified impacts of the growth in aviation tourism and considers local perspectives of tourism planning and management challenges. Results indicate that the impacts of growth in aviation tourism are being felt both within and outside the boundaries of the national park, demonstrating the need to consider the broader context of the complex tourism system affected by growth in aviation in the region. Findings also reveal that local stakeholders perceive several administrative challenges affecting the ability of the National Park Service to effectively manage impacts of aviation tourism, offering important insight into regional-scale tourism administration and potential future park management decisions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Cultural Studies
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law