Visit Greenland wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
2016 was a good year for tourism in Greenland, and from our corner of the industry I would like to, on behalf of the entire Visit Greenland team, thank all of our partners for the many projects and cooperation we have had throughout the year. The year is quickly winding down, so tradition has it to close this chapter with a year-end status and look forward to the coming year.
The growth in tourism, which began in the second half of 2014, continued in 2016. Statistics Greenland has given counts for tourist arrivals to Greenland by airplane for the first 9 months of 2016, and the numbers give good reason to be happy. Overall, the average number of tourist arrivals by airplane grew 9.6%, a figure that excludes tourism related to Arctic Winter Games, the large yet rare event held in Nuuk in March 2016, thus giving a picture of ‘organic’ tourism growth.
From January to April 2016, there was an average monthly growth in tourist arrivals of 19% in comparison to last year. Note: arrivals in connection with the large event Arctic Winter Games are not counted here. May and June 2016 had respective growths of 8.8% and 8% in comparison to last year. July 2016 was the only month that did not see growth, and in fact there was a small dip of 0.5%, giving evidence that Greenland has perhaps reached its capacity at this time of year. August 2016 showed a growth of 11.4% in comparison to last year, and in terms of actual persons, there were nearly 2400 more tourists in August 2016 than in July 2016. The last month for which we have tourist arrivals data is September 2016, and it showed a 16.8% year-over-year growth. As both August and September are popular months for cruise tourism in Greenland, it is obvious that passenger exchanges via air transport contribute to the growth in these two months.
Tourism growth amongst the primary markets, prioritised according to relevance in Greenland, was as follows:
Denmark: + 14.2 %
Germany: + 15.7 %
USA: + 9.8 %
France: + 19.5 %
Great Britain: + 33.5 %
In the Asian markets, the growth was as follows:
China: - 17.1 %
Japan: - 10.6 %
Taiwan: - 50.7 %
Okay, I apologise for all the facts and figures in a Christmas letter, but I hope they warmed a little bit anyway. Tourism in Greenland in the last few years has shown fabulous growth, due no doubt to a slew of positive factors that mutually support each other. Through more and new flight routes, Greenland has become yet more accessible. Each year, local operators offer increasingly developed experiences, products, and packaged tours which all together give a much broader image of the Greenland experience.
Lonely Planet included Greenland as one of its top 10 “Best in Travel 2016” destinations, which is thanks to the above and a stronger marketing of Greenland in general, if I do say so myself.
Looking ahead to 2017, Greenland’s hosting of Vestnorden Travel Mart 2017 will be Visit Greenland’s largest project of the year. The planning already began at the end of October, and the overall goal is to make this event just as successful as the last time we hosted it in 2013. We will do this by recycling and rejuvenating the elements which participants were most pleased with in 2013 as well as adding a few new elements. The aim is to hold 5 pre-tours, one in each of the 5 regions of Greenland, with place for 10 agents and 1 journalist each. These pre-tours will be made possible by co-financing and cooperation with the regional stakeholders.
An ongoing task at Visit Greenland is optimising our website www.greenland.com, which in the first half of 2017 will undergo a string of improvements for both viewers and advertisers. The website continues to generate increasing traffic, yet it is always necessary to streamline and strengthen the calls to action for viewers. The goal is to give a better user experience and ensure a high conversion rate from www.greenland.com to the advertisers’ own individual websites.
2016 was also a year of shifting resources in the Visit Greenland team. Malik Milfeldt and Mads Pihl, both of whom have done so much for the company, have moved on to new horizons while Filip Gelda has come in as Digital Developer. Aningaaq Rosing Carlsen has joined the team as a Visual Production Consultant and Arina Kleist has joined as Social Media Consultant.
From Visit Greenland we give one last thank you for this year, and we send our wishes for a continued good partnership next year.
Anders Stenbakken, Visit Greenland
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