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The core values of adventure travel 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.

Tourism is a global force

Tourism is an industry based on people and social interaction. In global terms, tourism accounts for 9% of the world’s market and 1 in 11 jobs.

Both in Greenland and around the world, tourism has the capacity to help develop regional economies and support local communities. However, this does not always take place without taking a significant toll on the natural environment and local culture in ways that can be damaging in the short and long term.

The challenge for tourism will therefore always be to stimulate economic and social development in a way that factors in nature, culture and the environment.

 

Greenland is an adventure destination

Adventure travel addresses all these challenges in a way that provides opportunities for local communities to develop and takes account of the tourists’ diverse understanding of what a responsible and sustainable adventure-based holiday involves.

In the eyes of the world, Greenland is an obvious adventure destination. For many years therefore, Visit Greenland has worked on the promotion and perception of Greenland in this light.

We see adventure travel as a form of tourism where visitors interact with the environment and nature, take part in physical activities and are part of a cultural exchange that combines at least two of these elements.

In the eyes of the world, Greenland is an obvious adventure destination.

Adventure is a subjective concept that revolves around how individual travellers like to shape their own experiences.

Adventure is a personal attitude
Adventure is not about how wild, high or extreme something is. It is primarily a mental attitude to travel which shapes the values that visitors bring with them on their holiday. In other words, adventure is a subjective concept that revolves around how individual travellers like to shape their own experiences.

The key for adventure travel is that the holiday should be based on experiences and that added value comes from really getting to know a destination through physical activity, cultural encounters and experiencing the natural environment. Activities like these allow individual travellers to push their boundaries culturally, physically and geographically – and the boundaries vary from person to person.

Adventure travel is a business philosophy
Adventure travel complements the way in which Greenlandic society and local Greenlandic economies operate.

It is a form of tourism that supports local economies. This is because tour operators focus on creating experiences that form part of the local culture and allow visitors to get to know the way of life while avoiding mass tourism.

This generates income in even the smallest towns and settlements that are involved in adventure activities. For the same reason, we also see that the most successful adventure operators in Greenland are small, locally based companies with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for creating experiences and imparting information that are linked to specific activities and local areas.

These activities gradually help to develop companies which take an active share in the responsibility for shaping the development of Greenlandic society, which care for nature and the environment, involve local enthusiasts and ensure that tourism is focused on culture and is based on sound commercial business.

Seen in this light, Visit Greenland’s clear objective is to support all those who think sustainably, take responsibility for culture and the environment and understand how to engage visitors in active experiences. This is the type of tour operator from which we expect to see growth in employment and income in the coming years.

Sources: The article draws on information from UNWTOs “Global Report on Adventure Tourism” 2014.

Adventure travel complements the way in which Greenlandic society and local Greenlandic economies operate.

READ THE OTHER STORIES IN THE ADVENTURE SERIES ABOUT GREENLAND

 

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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