Nunavut’s new tourism strategy seeks to boost tourism revenues

Strategy looks for ways to encourage more tourists to spend more money


A German visitor off a cruise ship photographs Iqaluit — Nunavut's new tourism strategy wants to figure out how to attract more tourists. (FILE PHOTO)

A German visitor off a cruise ship photographs Iqaluit — Nunavut’s new tourism strategy wants to figure out how to attract more tourists. (FILE PHOTO)

Despite some success, the Nunavut tourism industry remains underdeveloped, says the “Tunnagasaiji: Tourism Strategy for Nunavummiut” tabled by Nunavut’s minister of economic development and transportation in the legislative assembly May 16.

But the five-year strategy, which includes an action plan, forecasts total revenues from the tourism sector from 2013 to 2018 can reach $49 million — an increase of 23 per cent over the previous five-year period.

The strategy says “Nunavut represents a new world to discover, with its wealth of unique locations to experience, exciting opportunities to do business, and an immense range of people, cultures and adventures to be shared.”

The strategy, a partnership between the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and Nunavut Tourism, outlines ways to reach four “key market segments,” which include business travellers, leisure travellers, cruise travellers and travellers visiting friends or relatives.

It also offers targets for the different types of travellers, such as getting business travellers to spend money on things other than just transportation, and getting leisure travellers to spend more by increasing the number and quality of adventures tours.

Last October, Nunavut Tourism 2011 Nunavut Exit Survey found that the average visitor to Nunavut is a well-to-do, well-educated man between 40 and 65, who’s travelling alone for business and stays less than a week in the territory.

Other actions outlined in the strategy include a call to review and develop regulations and policies, increase awareness of acts and regulations related to tourism, enforce tourism-related legislation, and support for tourism operators in meeting licensing agreements.

The strategy also calls for more community economic development planning, tourism conferences every three years, the creation of a tourism training group and the re-establishment of the Tourism Task Force.

Under the section dealing with “attractions,” the strategy suggests more research, and more surveying and reporting, as well as promoting conferences and meetings, establishing occupational standards, and preparing a cruise ship management plan.

Another action suggested by the strategy: increasing education and training in Nunavut tourism, such as delivering a Nunavut Arctic College tourism diploma program, and offering more training for community economic development officers.

To increase tourism to the territory, the strategy also calls for:

• a renewed Travel and Tourism Act, to guide the industry and set standards;

• a framework for the collection of data on Nunavut’s tourism sector;

• better coordination and communication among tourism stakeholders;

• implementation of the strategy;

• increased Inuit participation in the development of tourism as required by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement;

• tourism skills development training offered in Nunavut;

• business development to take advantage of tourism opportunities; and,

• a framework for “active engagement of communities” in planning tourism opportunities.

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