Nunavut Tourism: Creating a buzz to lure tourists



Tourism, a key economic activity in Nunavut, has the potential to play an even greater role in strengthening Nunavut’s economy and creating jobs.

Maureen Bundgaard of Nunavut Tourism says the big challenge now is to make three things happen in the tourism industry at the same time — destination marketing, product development, and training.

“Most important is creating an awareness of Nunavut. If people haven’t heard the name Nunavut, they won’t be looking for us. And if they don’t look for us, then we won’t have a market to support product,” says Bundgaard.

Nunavut’s tourism industry has set itself a full agenda for the next few years.

Additional priorities include developing industry standards, and increasing revenue and product development in most types of tourism.

A growing specialized market is the cruise ship industry. Ships currently visit communities like Pond Inlet, Cape Dorset, Kimmirut and Pangnirtung.

The Conference Board of Canada, in its Nunavut Economic Outlook published last year, found that at each community visited, passengers spend about $5,000 on arts and crafts, and food and interpretive events. Nunavut Tourism is working on a management plan to develop an infrastructure to increase these revenues.

On the horizon is the completion of the Canada’s North Tourism Partnership, an agreement between Nunavut Tourism and the Yukon and NWT tourism organizations.

The partnership would work on joint projects, including joint marketing promotions, and shared contracting for trade shows and advertising. The relationship would not stop Nunavut from working in other jurisdictions and with other partners.

“We already have been doing those partnering things on an informal, ad hoc basis,” Bundgaard notes, “but the agreement would formalize it.”

To meet the expected increase in tourism, Nunavut Tourism feels that good research data is needed, not only about the number of tourists to Nunavut and how much they spend, but also how much of the money stays in the territory.

That, says Bundgaard, will affect how tourism is developed in Nunavut.

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