Desire for Better Marketing and Sales

For years the visitors in South Greenland has had the option to stay at sheep farms, but it has been difficult to find information about the options, get an overview of the standard of the different accommodations and in some cases find out how to book.

 A few years ago this led Ellen K. Frederiksen, who runs the accommodation Illunnguujuk with her husband at their farm in Qassiarsuk, to reach out to the Icelandic farm tourism association Icelandic Farm Holidays.

 

I was interested to learn how to establish a cooperation between the Icelandic and the Greenlandic farms in order to better our marketing and sales, and it was positive to feel that they were immediately interested. Here at home as well as in Iceland”, Ellen recalls.

Classification of Greenlandic Farm Overnight Stays

This contact was followed up by Visit Greenland in 2015. Alongside Icelandic Farm Holiday they drew up a project proposal. The project has received financial support from the Trade Fund of the BANK of Greenland and NATA.

 

The project consists of a series of natural steps”, explains Anders la Cour Vahl of Visit Greenland and continues:

 

The first was to examine what standard we actually offer in Greenland and then agree on a quality standard for the Greenlandic farm tourism. With that in place we can now explain tour operators what products we offer and thus we have a really good foundation for concrete cooperation on sales and marketing.

In July two inspectors from Icelandic Farm Holidays visited the participating sheep farmers. Based on the Icelandic quality standards they assessed each accommodation.

 ”For almost three decades Icelandic Farm Holidays has used our own system dividing the accommodations in categories such as ”rooms with shared or private bath” for example in the instance of  Bed & Breakfast in guest houses, hostels, settlement hotels or cabins, where guests cook for themselves. We also distinguish between whether it is beds with bedding or guests bringing their own sleeping bags. Each category contains a number of minimum quality requirements that must be met. From the beginning we have been very focused on evaluating and updating the requirements regularly. Thus we have been able to ensure the quality and at the same time we have created a system that allows for each accommodation to have its own personal touch something that our costumers appreciate”, says Berglind Viktorsdóttir from Icelandic Farm Holidays.

The inspection trip was followed by individual reports to each sheep farmer placing their accommodation in a category. Based on the placement they received positive feedback as well as recommendations as to what should and could be done better.

 

At the beginning of September this year the participating sheep farmers visited Icelandic farms offering overnight stays and activities to gather inspiration and have the opportunity to ask the Icelandic farmers about how they have dealt with concrete challenges. In connection with the Iceland trip a number of workshops were held and subsequently a set of quality standards for Greenlandic farm accommodation was adopted.

 

Furthermore Visit Greenland is putting the finishing touches on a film in the series “Explorers by Nature” showing the annual sheep round-up that can be included in the storytelling about sheep farmers.

The project, which is the beginning of a process, is off to a good start. Throughout the autumn and winter we are in dialogue with the sheep farmers in order for them to draw up individual action plans for their farms. The goal is that each accommodation lives up to the quality standard in the category of overnight stays they wish to be in. Alongside this we seek international tour operators that sell this kind of products so they can be made aware of the great potentials for the development of farm tourism in South Greenland”, says Anders la Cour Vahl.

Participating farms/accommodations (Map: NUNAGIS):