At Visit Greenland we always look for strong partnerships when building new projects, and in the winter of 2014/2015 we collaborated with Icelandic Mountain Guides in Iceland, Travellodge Greenland and Siggi Tours in East Greenland, and Air Iceland on a season expansion initiative for the winter season in the Ammassalik District.
The project aimed at developing and strengthening the regional platform for adventure tourism by developing new visual materials, improving product infrastructure and creating new knowledge about perceived challenges and opportunities among selected operators bringing adventure travelers to East Greenland.
We collaborated with Icelandic Mountain Guides in Iceland, Travellodge Greenland and Siggi Tours in East Greenland, and Air Iceland on a season expansion initiative
Ultimately the project produced a wide range of new marketing materials in the shape of photos, short films (one of which went on to win the Adventure in Motion competition for best adventure tourism film in 2015)
Icelandic Mountain Guides was the key player in establishing, running and directing the project with Visit Greenland acting as an organizing and managing partner throughout the six months from idea to execution, and the shared effort highlights how Visit Greenland is always looking to join projects if they are able to cover a number of bases both commercial and development.
Ultimately the project produced a wide range of new marketing materials in the shape of photos, short films (one of which went on to win the Adventure in Motion competition for best adventure tourism film in 2015), and stories from a two week journey to East Greenland; while the commercial stakeholders involved used to trip to test products, reshape itineraries, strengthen service provider links, and evaluate potentials and challenges for new and existing winter experiences in the region.
Adventure in Motion Winner: Skiing Greenland's Remote Peaks
After the trip Ella Grødem from Icelandic Mountain Guides summed it up nicely when she said:
“It is time consuming for a commercial operator to enter into a collaboration like this one, and we only chose projects with clear goals and tangible results. So for us this was a great combination of business development opportunities and a more general market oriented effort to improve the winter tourism platform in East Greenland.
However, we only did this because we were offered a chance to take part in the control of the process and create a role for ourselves which fit with both our own need for results and the wider project scope. All partnerships require compromises, but if you understand your own role it is easier to serve a bigger purpose and still reach your own goals”.
"this was a great combination of business development opportunities and a more general market oriented effort to improve the winter tourism platform in East Greenland." - Ella Grødem
KEY FINDINGS Among the many findings in the project that we especially want to highlight the following key points:
• The concept of “Winter in Greenland” needs to be a stronger story told across different online and offline platforms so as to make it more appealing to a wider range of adventure travelers. This job falls to Visit Greenland especially and will be carried out first and foremost through a new online winter platform on greenland.com which collates stories and products related to the winter season. And also, all photos from the project are publicly available on flickr.com/ilovegreenland.
• Many guests are looking to expand their Greenland experience with cultural products, but such experiences are not as available as the operators would like, which is in line with findings from the Greenland mapping project which also shows that good, locally rooted cultural experiences are among the most significant product development needs throughout the country.
• The Northern Lights are an untapped potential that should be exploited much more than today.
• Communication with local providers can be a serious challenge and there is a need to help professionalize stakeholders in Greenland.
• Selling Greenland in winter so far tends to be focused on East Greenland and Ilulissat, with Destination Arctic Circle as an emerging potential.
• While Greenland works as an add-onto Iceland more and more operators see it is a standalone destination using Iceland mostly as a travel hub. However, available flights are key in selling group tours to Greenland, but the current flight schedules and the seat availability acts as a bottleneck.
• Whether an operator focuses on soft or hard adventures does not matter that much as a metric for success as long as the storytelling and the product quality in relation to the company’s own brand and profile fits with the guests expectations and product experience.
• There is a need for local providers in Greenland to better understand specific market needs and traveler service demands, and Visit Greenland can help create stronger links in the B2B chain from local to international operators.
• Local provider cooperation is key to successful itinerary development, and regional conflicts cannot push essential collaboration needs in the background as this will slow down necessary development initiatives.
• Accommodation quality is vital for many travelers, and market sensitive improvements are recommended for East Greenland especially in the settlements.
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