For most agencies, cruise lines and other selling parties in the travel trade, Greenland is still a niche product catering to niche segments, unless you are focusing only on the polar regions in your catalogue, of course.



Through the last five years, we’ve come very far in Greenland with marketing and market intelligence.

We’ve sent our in-house photographer to mountain peaks afar, asked our international colleague to conduct interviews with tourists on the move onboard Sarfaq Ittuk, and each and every day we learn more about where these niche travellers come from thanks to our airport pax registration project.


Through the last five years, we’ve come very far in Greenland with marketing and market intelligence.

The majority of you know what sells, and you certainly know ‘your’ corners of Greenland probably better than we do. Every now and then, however, we notice missed opportunities of mentioning some interesting facts. So yes, we have made you a list.



Yet another inspirational list

When we browse through your annual catalogues showcasing your Greenland products, we are happy to see that many of you benefit from our research and marketing tools.

The majority of you know what sells, and you certainly know ‘your’ corners of Greenland probably better than we do.



Every now and then, however, we notice missed opportunities of mentioning some interesting facts, USP’s (Useful Selling Points, not Unique, because it’s such a cliché to be honest) and ways of branding and communicating Greenland. So yes, we have made you a list.



But please don’t mistake the following list as the 10 most important USP’s to use in our view. They may not cater to your clients specifically, but if at least some of the points do, then these ideas might come in handy the next time you are updating your brochures, websites and tour descriptions.


1. STUNNING SCENERY AND FABULOUS FJORDS

Most people probably associate ‘fjords’ with ‘Norway’, and it’s certainly well-deserved, but try zooming in on a Greenland map online or with a magnifying glass. In particular, look for South Greenland, the region around Nuuk, or Tasiilaq and Ittoqqortoormiit on the east coast. We have plenty of fjords as expedition cruise operators already know - plus sounds, bays and small coves - and both we and our visitors love exploring them all year round.

We have plenty of fjords and both we and our visitors love exploring them all year round.

Last year was a great northern lights year, and 2016 is expected to be yet another one.

2. THE AURORA BOREALIS BELT

Last year was a great northern lights year, and 2016 is expected to be yet another one. The southern parts of Greenland around and below the Arctic Circle are where the auroral oval belt lies (don’t forget that the aurora can be seen at higher latitudes, too), and predictions often times look very good from latitudes 60-67 degrees, i.e. where towns such as Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut, Nuuk, Narsarsuaq, Qaqortoq, Tasiilaq etc. are located.



The auroral oval from space as it looked recently. Illustration: University of Alaska Fairbanks

. Furthermore, due to points 4 and 6 below, light pollution in Greenland is almost non-existent making it one of the best places on Earth to see the northern lights. Sources: NOAA & Alaska Edu

Greenland is one of the best places on Earth to see the northern lights. 

The quality and the cleanliness of the air and water in Greenland is among the best you will find on the globe.

3. AMAZING AIR & WATER QUALITY

In reality, it’s a sad fact that you cannot depend on clean air and clean water everywhere in the world.

Luckily for us living in the Arctic, you don’t have to worry! Moreover, the quality and the cleanliness of the air and water in Greenland is among the best you will find on the globe for the simple reason that very few people inhabit the very northern regions. Source: Air Pollution in the World: Real time Air Quality map - look for the green flags.

Ok, so no one has installed measurement stations in Greenland yet, but it proves the point in a way.

4. LOWEST POPULATION DENSITY

Do you have customers who are into the the concepts of going off-the-beaten-paths, being off-grid and doing slow-tourism? Look no further.

Greenland is the least populated country in the world, and albeit about 80% of our country is covered by the Ice Sheet, your clients can still find thousands of places where they can have it all to themselves - especially if they’re a bit adventurous.

 

Your clients can still find thousands of places where they can have it all to themselves - especially if they’re a bit adventurous.

September is ideal in so many ways: better chances of getting the amount of seats and rooms you need, no mosquitoes, northern lights season has begun, the colors of the landscape are changing; maybe the first light snowflakes will fall, and every visit-worthy place you can imagine is simply less crowded.

5. GLOBAL WARMING: GET WISER

Sure it’s a paradox that some people chase the melting ice to witness climate change (because of creating CO2 emissions getting here), and it’s also one of the reasons we rarely mention climate change marketing-wise. But it shouldn’t keep you from educating those coming here about what’s going on, what the effects of global warming are, and what we can all do to work towards a greener future.

Today, a few operators work with the concept of ‘citizen science’ to engage their customers in doing amateur research about global warming while they’re on holiday at the same time. See this example: Arctic Friend.

 

6. SEPTEMBER TRAVEL ROCKS


Last year was a record year for tourism in Greenland, meaning demand is high for rooms and airplane seats. This is especially true to Ilulissat in the main-season months of July and August, but the same goes for Tasiilaq and Kulusuk. Nuuk typically has better availability during those months. Source: http://tourismstat.gl

For those of you who can attract clients to polar regions in September, this particular month is actually ideal in so many ways: better chances of getting the amount of seats and rooms you need, no mosquitos, northern lights season has begun, the colors of the landscape are changing; maybe the first light snowflakes will fall, and every visit-worthy place you can imagine is simply less crowded.

7. FOODIES WILL FIND FINE FOOD

Culinary habits, traditions, crops, ingredients, in short FOOD, is something that binds us all together across cultures and borders.

Some of you might be surprised to learn that the very word ‘food’ is actually in the very top list of most-searched-for words on our website, greenland.com. Now, our google analytics account is not yet capable of telling us whether people are searching that particular word to see if we have other dishes to offer than seal soup (i.e. worried about the selection of dishes) or if they’re simply curious to learn about the variety of what our kitchens across the country can offer.

But rest assured, dishes catering to tourists are getting more and more sophisticated, and we always strive to include our cuisine as an element and a USP during FAM and press trips. More inspiration here: ‘How Climate Change is Transforming Food Culture of Greenland

Some of you might be surprised to learn that the very word ‘food’ is actually in the very top list of most-searched-for words on our website, greenland.com.

We started #GreenlandPioneer as the primary hashtag to show all things travel-related in Greenland.

8. SOCIAL MEDIA: DO YOU ENGAGE YOUR CLIENTS?

Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking etc. is modern day’s way of sending postcards like we did - and some still do - only a decade ago.

Today, most people and travellers prefer simply to upload not only one photo, but several pictures during their holidays to tell friends and families how they are doing and where they are.

We started #GreenlandPioneer as the primary hashtag to show all things travel-related in Greenland. Many of you are in companies that have well-functioning social media strategies and campaigns.

But do you remember to engage and involve your customers when they are in Greenland and encourage them to use your preferred hashtags, as well? Follow a company that does really well with blogs and using social media channels: Quark Expeditions

9. GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES >< NICKNAMES IGNITING CURIOSITY

We’re guilty as charged with this one, so we’re not pointing fingers here at all. We are merely trying to stress the fact that the use of regional names does not always make sense. What separates ‘West Greenland’ for instance from ‘North Greenland’?

Is Sisimiut part of ‘Southwest Greenland’, ‘Mid-West Greenland’ or simply just ‘West Greenland’? And does the name label of ‘South Greenland’ really sell when many travellers have dreams of heading to the High North, because why would you then go south?

A way to go about this is by using more creative region/town names that paint better pictures. For instance, use ‘Arctic Circle Region’ for describing where Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq are located. Use ‘Colorful Nuuk’ to support the brand used by the capital itself. And how about ‘Land of the Northern Lights’ or ‘Fjordland’ or ‘Garden of Greenland’ or ‘Erik the Red’s Land’ for South Greenland? You might have much better ideas, so let’s hear from you in that case!

Does the name label of ‘South Greenland’ really sell when many travellers have dreams of heading to the High North, because why would you then go south?

We would like to hear your opinions, and we value them more than our own.

10. FILL IN YOURSELF:_________

Ok, admittedly number 10 is a trick. We would like to hear your opinions, and we value them more than our own. Do you have any comments, suggestions or ideas? What are your experiences of what works and what doesn’t? Are you aware of any trends or other useful selling points which we should use more often in order to sell Greenland as your clients’ next destination? Shoot your emails to the author of this article, and thank you in advance.