Greenland has seen a significant increase in Asian travellers.

Greenland has seen a significant increase in Asian travellers in the past few years, mostly attributed to China, which is a fairly new development compared to earlier years. In order to develop this growth further, Visit Greenland is working to cater to tourists from Asia, and specifically China, from a few different angles.

B2B: Chinese Arctic Travel Summit

From March 10-14, Qaasuitsup Kommunia and Visit Greenland hosted a combined travel mart, fam-trip and workshop under the name “Chinese Arctic Travel Summit” which was the first of its kind ever in Greenland focusing on the Chinese outbound market. Travel trade partners - travel agencies - from Iceland and Denmark had each selected 1-3 guests from China representing major Chinese travel agencies, and with Air Greenland and Air Iceland attending as well, the total number of guests exceeded 20, all staying at Hotel Arctic.



The goal of the summit was to increase awareness of Ilulissat and of Greenland in general not only as a winter destination, but also one that could cater to Chinese segments before or after the main season from June to mid-August. 



Though dog sledding was not available to all participants due to an unfortunate lack of mushers in Ilulissat at that time, the Chinese participants were spoiled with numerous excursions including a trip to the inland ice in Air Greenland’s legendary S61 helicopter upon arrival to Kangerlussuaq, plus a fixed-wing airplane trip as well in Ilulissat with AirZafari. Other highlights included snowshoeing at the world heritage site with PGI Greenland, a town tour conducted by World of Greenland and the remaining group that stayed for the weekend also got to ride snowmobiles to Oqaatsut/Rodebay to learn more about products offered by North Greenland Adventure and PGI Greenland in partnership. 



The goal of the summit was to increase awareness of Ilulissat and of Greenland in general not only as a winter destination, but also one that could cater to Chinese segments before or after the main season from June to mid-August. 



New package tours to Ilulissat are now being developed with the 2015 and 2016 seasons in mind.

A half day’s travel mart took place in the Greenland Room at Hotel Arctic with attendance from all major tourism stakeholders in Ilulissat which was preceded by a general introduction to the town’s ambitious airport expansion plans by the technical director of the world’s largest municipality.



‘The GlacierShop’ arranged a very high standard fashion show on the final evening with furs from Great Greenland, and latest trends from Isaksen Design and Nuuk Couture, and all evening dinners were specially created by master chef Jeppe Ejvind Nielsen with a focus on local food with a touch a Asia.    



As a direct consequence of the travel summit, new package tours to Ilulissat are now being developed with the 2015 and 2016 seasons in mind.

Promote Iceland / VIsit Greenland Road show

To build upon the success of the Chinese Arctic Travel Summit, in mid-April Visit Greenland participated in a six-day China trade show attended by over 300 Chinese tourism operators in the five different cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Organised by Promote Iceland and hosted by the Icelandic Ambassador in China Mr. Stefán Skjaldarsson, the aim of the trade show was to create business interest in both Greenland and Iceland.

It gave existing and potential operators a chance to become more familiar with the two destinations, as well as getting directly in touch with operators who sell both Iceland and Greenland. Nine Icelandic companies participated along with the two tourism boards, totalling twenty participants.

Visit Greenland is looking to work with high-end specialist tour operators in China, whose clients are interested in amongst other things northern lights, nature, food and culture. There was already knowledge of Greenland from the two largest cities Beijing and Shanghai, and the markets in Nanjing and Hangzhou were also ready for business.

Visit Greenland is looking to work with high-end specialist tour operators in China

Visit Greenland created an infographic that provides further cultural insight into visitors with Chinese heritage.

Preparing the service industry for Chinese travellers

The service industry in Greenland must also consider tweaking its offerings to cater to the needs of Asian travellers. In order to facilitate this, Visit Greenland created an infographic that provides further cultural insight into visitors with Chinese heritage, including knowledge about how they plan and book, and their hotel room preferences. For example, having a kettle in the hotel room is very important! There are also cultural tips on how to interact with Chinese. 

This pamphlet is based on research conducted within the European Union as well as in-house. While it focuses on Chinese travellers from China, the insights may also cover the profiling of some Asians in other countries, especially the Chinese diaspora living outside of China who may be considered more ‘traditional’.

 

Next steps

Visit Greenland will continue to work with our B2B partners to develop the tourism industry in China. Visit Greenland will build upon existing interest by creating a smaller scale version of greenland.com in Chinese, and supporting B2B operators with their PR and social media work. Furthermore, we will work towards creating an Asia strategy that takes into consideration existing and new flight paths, where the interest lies in the region and our preferred market segments.