Responsibility and education
There is more to adventure tourism than active experiences and care for the natural environment. Travellodge also promotes a scheme that is unique in Greenland.
Given that educational opportunities are difficult to access for local hunters with an annual income of under DKK 100,000, Lars Anker has set about upgrading the safety and navigation qualifications for a number of local hunters.
“We have to understand that many of those who now work in tourism are still active hunters. In these occupations, they have to combine their income from various sources, but this can be difficult to achieve without the right training and qualifications.”
“We therefore started working with Sermersooq Business Council and Greenland’s Employers’ Confederation to offer free training to a number of fishermen and hunters – and not just to our own boatmen – so that they can get the latest knowledge and qualifications they need.”
“You might ask why we do it for others, but we see it as an investment in the development of the local community. Education opens doors for more people in tourism and fishing. It also helps the economy in eastern Greenland and benefits Travellodge Greenland directly”.
For Lars Anker, the company’s growth and its sense of social responsibility are closely connected. Lars Anker also offers his employees English lessons. The carrot for taking the language course is a wage rise.
However, as Lars says, “In Tasiilaq, people do not go to work to earn money. They work because they like it and because it’s fun. The challenge for employers is to create a working environment that is enjoyable and exciting and to ensure that their business is profitable. If we are not able to do that, people will just go back to working as hunters.”