Nunavut guide book goes on-line



The first comprehensive travellers’ guide to Nunavut makes its debut today, but don’t look for it in book stores.

Creators of the Nunavut Handbook, scheduled for publication this summer, have launched an electronic version of their guide on the world-wide web. The site is located

“As far as I know it’s the first major guide to go on the web in Canada, and among probably the first half-dozen in the world,” Michael Roberts of Nortext Publishing said.

Nortext also publishes Nunatsiaq News.

Two dozen writers, mostly full-time northerners, have contributed chapters to the guide on practical subjects ranging from proper hiking gear to food and accomodation.

Internet and printed versions of the handbook both contain extensive information on transportation in Nunavut and instructions for arranging travel by air, land and water.

There’s even a chapter on cruise ships.

“We try and cover all the bases,” Roberts said.

Nortext, an Iqaluit-based marketing and publishing company, enjoyed enormous success with the first edition of its Baffin Handbook three years ago, selling 7,000 copies. The Nunavut Handbook offers fresh information about the Baffin plus sections on travel and activities in the Kivalliq and Keewatin regions.

Several well-known, longtime northerners share their insight. John Amagoalik, Kenn Harper, Jimmy Onalik, Carol Rigby, Ann Hanson, John MacDonald and Peter Ernerk are among the guide’s contributors.

Roberts said Nortext plans to keep the website updated regularly with links to dozens of Nunavut businesses in the tourism industry.

“The whole concept here is that a visitor comes in and they can not only research their trip, they can then click onto directory listings or banner ads within the site and go directly to the web page of the outfitter, hotel, tour operator or airline,” Roberts said.

There are plenty of e-mail links to Northern hospitality, too. Website browsers can plan their travel itinerary and research travel arrangements, even make hotel reservations at the click of a mouse.

“It really makes the whole business of booking a trip to the North more painless,” Roberts said.

Nortext worked closely with Nunavut Tourism authorities while designing the handbook, relying on the results of recent visitor surveys for inspiration.

“The needs that we saw through those surveys and through talking with people in the tourism industry was for facual information they could rely on, and not glossy pictures and flowery language, which of course they get in tourism brochures,” Roberts said.

A printed version of the Nunavut Handbook will be available June 30, to be re-issued every year thereafter with updates on travel tips and other useful information.

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