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Adventure tourism values at eye level
Globally, adventure tourism operators have on average more than 40 members of staff.
The continued expansion of the industry means that this trend will doubtless lead in the coming years to the formation of larger companies with more clout.

In Greenland, the picture remains different. Companies here are voluntarily embracing values such as sustainability and responsibility.

There are also far fewer human and financial resources available on Greenland’s domestic market. However, this does not stop a number of local companies from offering adventure tourism on a scale appropriate to what can be done in Greenland.

A three-dimensional landscape
Greenland Outdoors is a small tour operator based in Kangerlussuaq. The company declares that its values are based on sustainability and responsibility. It offers a range of services that clearly demonstrate that adventure tourism does not have to be large-scale and cost a lot of money to be successful.

The founder of the company, Jens-Pavia Brandt, focuses on offering a combination of experiences relating to nature, wildlife, history and culture. He believes that it is important for visitors who venture into Greenland’s natural environment to feel part of a three-dimensional landscape, a landscape which has a tale to tell about the use of its land and wildlife in the past and present.

The core products are kayaking, wildlife tours, hiking tours, cultural and historical tours and storytelling. Often, the same tour combines any number of these elements.

The founder of the company, Jens-Pavia Brandt, focuses on offering a combination of experiences relating to nature, wildlife, history and culture.

“The joy of being in nature and living off nature is the fundamental driving force behind this."

Based in Kangerlussuaq
Greenland Outdoors began when a dream became reality. Jens-Pavia was driven by a passionate desire to share his experiences of the natural world around Kangerlussuaq, where he now lives with his family.

“The idea of setting up my own company and organising trips into nature is something that I had for a very long time,” he says. “The joy of being in nature and living off nature is the fundamental driving force behind this. When I worked as a ship’s mate, I spent many hours peering in towards the land and imagining how amazing it would be to be able to explore the stunning coastline and inland areas we were sailing past.”

He also felt there was a need for more people in Greenland to use their experience and knowhow to create experiences for others:

“One of the experiences that made me set up Greenland Outdoors comes from the time I spent at the Ice Centre in Narsarsuaq, where I saw many foreigners coming to lead guided tours for the tourists. Some of the guides had never been to Greenland before. I felt that this was an area of work we Greenlanders ought to be able to manage ourselves.”

Accordingly, Jens-Pavia set himself up in Kangerlussuaq on the basis of offering tourists the best possible experience when it comes to nature, wildlife, culture and history.

“I want to do this in an honest way that shows our country’s good sides and not so good sides. We do this in a way that shows care and consideration for the natural environment and wildlife, so that our footprint in nature is as small and unobtrusive as possible. I also want to make sure that our tours show respect for the trapper families that live here. We should not disturb their hunting or make them feel that they are being put on show in any way.”

Adventure tourism takes many forms and operators in the business express their underlying values in different ways. However, ultimately the heart of Jens-Pavia’s business is classic adventure tourism with a pronounced focus on combining nature, culture and active experiences in a form that is sustainable:

“I would like to see Greenland Outdoors develop in the longer term on the basis of these underlying values and our care and concern for the environment, so that any desire for economic growth does not take precedence over these. I would also very much like to train new Greenlandic guides who can be part of our business – or even better, start their own businesses with which we can then collaborate.”

“I want to do this in an honest way that shows our country’s good sides and not so good sides. We do this in a way that shows care and consideration for the natural environment and wildlife, so that our footprint in nature is as small and unobtrusive as possible.

READ THE OTHER STORIES IN THE ADVENTURE SERIES ABOUT GREENLAND

 

WHAT IS ADVENTURE TRAVEL IN GREENLAND?

The core values of adventure tourism are what underpin tourism in Greenland. Growth in employment and income in the coming years will come from companies that think sustainably, take responsibility for culture and the environment and understand how to involve visitors in active experiences.

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KEY FACTS ON ADVENTURE TRAVEL

Between 2010 and 2014, the adventure tourism industry grew by 195%. Greenland has every opportunity to become part of this international trend which is generating more money for local communities and raising awareness of responsible tourism.

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ADVENTURE IN PRACTICE - GREENLAND OUTDOORS

Jens-Pavia Brandt’s company Greenland Outdoors specialises in combining kayaking, wildlife tours, storytelling, and hiking in the backcountry around Kangerlussuaq.

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ADVENTURE SEGMENTS IN GREENLAND

Visit Greenland's work with mapping and segmentation of tourists in Greenland is closely related to the definitions of adventure by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and in this article we will explore how the two models are connected.

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ADVENTURE IN PRACTICE - INUK HOSTELS

Liisi Egede Hegelund offers a combination of accommodation and cultural encounters in a backcountry oasis right in the heart of Nuuk’s urban environment, and her concept shows how adventure in Greenland can be based just as much in urban settings as in the mountains.

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FRAMEWORK CONDITIONS AS A TOOL FOR ENHANCING VALUE

Natural and cultural resources are the building blocks for adventure tourism, and public-private collaboration on preservation and protection can create a platform for sustainable resource management and future business development.

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ADVENTURE IN PRACTICE - TRAVELLODGE GREENLAND

Travellodge Greenland in East Greenland has created strong adventure tourism products. It is now a growing business based on local knowledge, passion and a desire to make a difference in the local community.

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SHARED RESPONSIBILITY THROUGHOUT THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Partnership between companies in a supply chain can be critical for local and global implementation of business development based on sustainable and responsible business practice.

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ADVENTURE IN PRACTICE - PGI GREENLAND

PGI Greenland is a newly set-up company in the Disko Bay. In a busy market, PGI Greenland has found a niche in adventure-based tourism, developed in close collaboration with local logistics providers and an international partner.

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HUMAN RESOURCES AND ADVENTURE

Professional guides are one of a tour operator’s main assets. The guides must have specialised knowledge that can inspire and help the company’s clients in a way that is safe and responsible.

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ADVENTURE TRAVEL TRADE ASSOCIATION

Together with a few domestic operators Visit Greenland uses the global Adventure Travel Trade Association network to help promote the development of the adventure tourism industry in Greenland.

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