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COMBINING TWO MODELS
Many years ago the Adventure Travel Trade Association [ATTA] created a definition of adventure tourism and the adventure tourist. Such a tourist is one that includes at least two of the three following elements in his or her leisure travel: physical activity, engagement with nature, and cultural interaction & learning. Through this definition, it is seen that most tourists can be considered adventurers.
In 2012 Visit Greenland created a Market Segment Map to describe tourists in Greenland. It describes tourists according to their desires to experience nature, culture, a combination of both, or else something completely different like photography, extreme activities, bird watching, and so on.
The segment map also describes tourists according to their engagement level – the depth to which they wish to experience a destination. Each segment has a special name such as Nature Lover, Culture Appreciator, and Globetrotter.
ADVENTURE AND SEGMENTATION
It is not difficult to understand where these two models overlap. One can see here the three ATTA aspects in circles and the 11 Greenland market segments plotted within. The Greenland market segments specifically pinpoint various combinations of the three ATTA aspects.
NATURE & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SEGMENTS
As a destination with easily accessed natural features for the typical traveler up to terrain that will challenge even world-renowned adventurers, Greenland attracts a wide range of segments who all focus on experiencing a destination’s natural environment, though to varying degrees of physical activity.
Segments who focus purely on a destination’s culture are considerably less common, though they target Greenland for our culture of pioneering spirit and our preserved Viking history. Typically these segments tend to exercise their inquiring minds more than their bodies.
The Greenland market segments specifically pinpoint various combinations of the three ATTA aspects.
The Globetrotter is one of Greenland’s most common market segments, and understandably so as they are the quintessential tourists. They are general adventurers who want to try a little bit of everything Greenland has to offer.
Globetrotters want to get a solid holistic sense of our culture, the people, and the natural environment, and they aim to be quite active while doing it.
In Greenland, Globetrotters choose experiences like kaffemik, dog sledding tours, and walking on the Greenland Ice Sheet.
The Sightseer is another common market segment in Greenland, due in large part to cruise tourism. Similar to the Globetrotter, Sightseers also wish for a general overview of Greenland’s natural and cultural aspects, but through soft adventure.
Instead of physical activities they seek light experiences which allow them to observe.
In Greenland, Sightseers choose experiences like museum visits, guided city walks, flightseeing, and driving tours to Russell Glacier.
THE EXTREME ADVENTURER
The Extreme Adventurer is, by definition, the most physically active segment one can find.
Many have made a career out of constantly testing the limits of their mental and physical capacities, and only the toughest natural environments give them such a stage to play out their adrenaline rushes.
In Greenland, Extreme Adventurers are drawn to the east coast for expeditions like first ascent climbing, heli skiing, and Ice Sheet crossing.
THE SPECIAL INTEREST ADVENTURER
The Special Interest Adventurer is a highly focused market segment. They have one specific passion in life - more than just a hobby - and the pursuit of that passion leads them all over the world.
They prefer to travel with others who share their passion, so they almost never combine a special interest trip with a family holiday.
In Greenland, Special Interest Adventurers pursue photography and artwork with the nature as subject, bird watching, angling, and trophy hunting.
THE NATURE LOVER
The Nature Lover just likes to feel good and have fun outdoors, and they are very common in Greenland. Being active is part of their everyday lifestyle, so it carries over into their holiday experiences.
They enjoy a wide range of physical activities and are rather adventurous in terms of trying new ones. If it gets them close to the nature, they will try it!
In Greenland, Nature Lovers choose long day hikes, whale watching skiing, cycling, and kayaking opportunities.
THE WILDERNESS SEEKER
The Wilderness Seeker is the lone wolf of the travel world. These travelers need neither organized tour, nor guide, nor friend; the backcountry is the only companion they request.
In Greenland, Wilderness Seekers are focused on hiking activities. They often come with just a tent, a map, and their thoughts – totally free to let their wandering spirits take them as far as they please through the great nature.
THE NATURE APPRECIATOR
The Nature Appreciator is a more reserved segment that prefers to observe beautiful nature from a comfortable distance rather than to be directly in the middle of it all.
They often travel to Greenland by way of cruise ship, and they almost always look for guided experiences so they can learn about what they see.
In Greenland, Nature Appreciators choose sailing tours, flightseeing, wildlife safaris, and walking at Sermermiut.
THE CULTURE LOVER
The Culture Lover travels to see new communities and get a different perspective of this diverse world. They are like sponges when it comes to experiencing a country’s pulse – gathering impressions by the minute. They want local guides to lead their tours so their chances are greater to hear a story about growing up in the country.
In Greenland, Culture Lovers choose kaffemik, sled dog life tours, self-guided city walks, and visits to small villages.
THE CULTURE APPRECIATOR
The Culture Appreciator is a bit of a bookworm and dives into historical culture. They do quite a bit of research and reading before traveling so they can test out their knowledge once they arrive to their destination.
Because so much of their interest lies in the happenings of centuries past, they value a great museum curator more than a local guide.
In Greenland, Culture Appreciators choose museum tours, visits to Économusée workshops, Viking ruins tours, and guided city walks.
THE ETHNOPHILE & AUTHENTICITY SEEKER
The Ethnophile and Authenticity Seeker want a completely genuine and close understanding of people, and they fancy themselves becoming locals to get it. They look for the local hangouts instead of the tourist traps, and many times they will avoid cities all together.
The difference between the two is that Authenticity Seekers come with specific traditional notions of how the culture should be.
In Greenland, Ethnophiles and Authenticity Seekers choose homestays with locals and visits to small villages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.