Negotiating New Riskscapes in the Production of Tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan, Northern Pakistan

Authors: Irena Mrak , College of Environmental Protection, Velenje, Slovenije, Sarah Jean Halvorson*, Department of Geography
Topics: Mountain Environments, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Tourism Geography
Keywords: riskscapes, tourism geographies, mountain development, Karakoram, Northern Pakistan
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Stones Throw 1 - Granite, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper investigates the ways in which the tourism sector in Gilgit-Baltistan of Northern Pakistan has contributed to physical and social risks while also pursuing an agenda of sustainable mountain development. Drawing upon the theoretical concept of ‘riskscapes,’ we demonstrate how the nature and range of risks and uncertainties have been produced, (mis)managed, and altered in specific mountain settings by coordinated and/or seemingly coincidental actions. The paper draws attention to four specific risk settings: a valley (Hunza); a mountain pass (Khunjerab Pass); a glacier (Baltoro Glacier); and a national park (Central Karakoram National Park). The paper establishes the spatial dimensions of risk associated with an emerging Pakistani domestic tourism economy, which has largely surpassed what is now a relatively minimal international tourist presence following the events of 9/11. The paper concludes by addressing the embeddedness of ‘riskscapes’ in the Karakoram Range as they relate to different tourism actors, groups and power structures.

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