More investment needed for Greenland tourism

Qeqqata mayor says minor investments can go a long way
Herman Berthelsen, mayor of Qeqqata local council in western Greenland, argues that just small regulatory adjustments and minor investments can give the tourism industry a big boost.
With giant development projects likes an aluminium smelter, offshore oil exploration and an iron mine put on hold, local councillors are looking at smaller, more sustainable projects.
Economic activity in Qeqqata related to tourism is increasing, Berthelsen says. Much of the growth is coming from cruise ship visits, especially since a new wharf in Sismiut in 2013 has made it easier for ships to land. Cruise operators are learning that Sisimiut is not only a great destination but also an opportunity to take on supplies before heading further in Greenland and the Arctic.
That means more opportunities for local people to arrange tours and sell souvenirs. This is all the result of public sector investment in the necessary infrastructure.
Now a modern port facility is needed in Kangerlussuaq, where an international airport is located, Berthelsen says.
More cross-country skiers, trekkers on the Arctic Circle Trail, big-game hunters and anglers are visiting Greenland, and local governments must do more to put tourism infrastructure in place for them to enjoy their stay, and for the companies that service them to create jobs and make money.
With global warming, all-terrain vehicles can now reach previously inaccessible areas in a responsible manner, particularly in Kanglerlussuaq, between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut, and near the Apussiut ski area.
The Arctic Journal


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