INTERNATIONAL TRENDS

 

1. Responsible tourism is required. It is clear that international operators want to find local partners who share similar values to them. International operators want to buy from Greenland partners who use local food products and people, care for the environment, engage in social and cultural activities, and somehow give back to the community - because they care too! Some of the companies who have asked about responsible partners in Greenland? Swoop Arctic, Arctic Adventure, Hurtigruten!

 2. People are still seeking Transformational Travel experiences. According to the Transformational Travel Council, Transformational travel (or TT) is any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life. There are often 3 critical parts of a truly life-altering adventure.

    1. Traveling with intention, openness, and mindfulness

    2. Engaging in challenging physical and/or cultural experiences

    3. Taking time for personal reflection & meaning-making

Greenland is the perfect setting to facilitate a transformational travel experience, and according to the Greenland Mapping Project run in the past few years, many tourists did say Greenland is a unique destination that offers surreal, mind-blowing and once in a lifetime experiences! 

 3. Authenticity. Greenland is a mecca for original and true experiences. Travellers want to immerse themselves in the everyday life cycle in Greenland. For example, by hunting and gathering your own food in nature, drinking water directly from running streams, and by making food from scratch.

 

COOPERATION

 

4. Cooperation is key. Nordic tourist boards are working together more than ever before to market the destinations of the North. For many tourists outside of Europe, it is normal to combine multiple countries in one holiday experience, because Scandinavia / Northern Europe is seen as one big destination. 

5. More cooperation within Greenland. The Towards More Tourism conference in late 2018 pretty much summed up the past year. The more the tourism operators know each other, the more they can share and benefit from the knowledge and knowhow that exists. 2018 was also the year that each region of Greenland established the position of destination manager.

  

DESTINATION MANAGEMENT LANDSCAPE

 

6. There is a growing number of operators offering Destination Management services across Greenland. These are both land and cruise based: Three new players include Greenland Escape (Greenland based), One Point Greenland (Denmark), and Sila Greenland DMC (Denmark).

7. Smaller Greenlandic companies are being acquired. For example, in 2018 the Topas group acquired hotels and tour operations in Qasigiannguit and Qeqertarsuaq, and the Albatros group acquired Hotel Hvide Falk and PGI Greenland in Ilulissat. Both companies have long since had a presence in Greenland and in the past have cooperated with local partners where possible. This avenue will allow ‘full tourism service’ from within the group.

8. Micro influencers on the rise. The star photographers who offer photo tour groups have established their presence in Greenland, particularly in Disko Bay and East Greenland. Now, Visit Greenland can confirm that the influencers who have been to Greenland are also looking to come back as tour leaders! These are not necessarily big influencers, but also include ‘micro’ influencers’ and ‘nano’ influencers with about 1000 loyal followers.

 

NICHE REASONS TO GO

 

9. Travel agencies who specialise in niche products are highly interested in developing a presence in Greenland. They can often be natural experiences such as fly fishing and fat biking, but can also be cultural experiences such as knitting!

10. Northern lights are a big drawcard! Tourists who visit Scandinavia outside of summer are very much lured by the northern lights. This is another reason Greenland can be considered a valuable add-on destination, because northern lights can be seen across the entire country. 

11. Wellness opportunities. The active adventure segment continues to be a popular reason to visit Greenland, but wellness is a relatively untapped niche in Greenland that could combine very well. There is growing interest for experiences like this, and wellness experiences are in development in Qaqortoq and Nuuk. Note: Malik Swimming Pool in Nuuk now has two hot tubs overlooking the fjord.

12. Luxury tourism. These are in the forms of luxury camps and accommodation, heli-skiing, and private tours by jet plane. Most importantly, luxury is in the experience that Greenland gives.

13. Festivals on the rise. The Nuuk Nordisk Festival, Disko Arts Festival, Arctic Sounds, Qooqqut festival - many of these artistic arrangements are, alongside food events, marathons and races, firmly established on the festival and events calendar in Greenland.   

 

INFRASTRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT

 

14. Greenland is working on developing its infrastructure more than ever before. The decision to extend new air strips  in Ilulissat and Nuuk and build a new airport in Qaqortoq has been approved. Work is planned to begin in 2019 for the first two airports, and 2020 for Qaqortoq. Visitor centres for tourists are also being planned across the country, with the first ones to be built in Ilulissat and Nuuk.   

15. Focus on seasonal expansion. From the Greenland side, there continues to be an awareness that Ilulissat during the summertime is full, and there must continue to be tourism development beyond this short timeframe. Winter seasonal development, and summer development in other regions are therefore a priority for both tour operators, the airlines and the National Tourist Board.

16. Quality, safety and environmental system. The tourism industry in Greenland has long discussed the need for a national quality assurance system. This year research and inspiration for the system has been kickstarted by gathering knowledge from Iceland’s Vakinn project.

17. Better internet connections. While Greenland is still the most ideal place to disconnect from the outer world, it’s becoming easier to plug back in. Thanks to a large internet connectivity project by Tele-Greenland, internet is becoming faster and more competitively priced in the country. There is now 4G available across the land, and a radio link project aims to allow 92% of the population to get access to higher speed internet. The radio link is now over 2000 kilometres long with 52 radio link stations. Many of these radio stations are built on mountain tops 1400 - 1600 metres high. Lower internet prices, and higher awareness of the importance of internet has also meant that more accommodations are including free internet in their stays.

18. There will be more hotels and experiential overnight options in Greenland! The destination leading the accommodation ‘boom’ is Nuuk, with a budget hotel in the pipeline and more huts available in the fjord. New creative overnight accommodation includes the newly launched igloos in Ilulissat and the Greenland Glacier Camp, currently in development in Kangerlussuaq.

19. UNESCO world heritage recognition will be used as a marketing and development platform. Greenland now has 3 UNESCO world heritage sites in Ilulissat, South Greenland and Destination Arctic Circle. The site managers’ role is to protect these heritage areas, but also to make them more accessible in a sustainable way.

 


Questions and comments: tanny@greenland.com