Greenland aims to encourage domestic tourism with latest aid package

A 2019 photo of Ilulissat, Greenland. The government is hoping the promotion of domestic travel this summer will help offset the financial impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
With the summer tourism season looking grim, Greenland’s government has announced further financial assistance to help travel companies weather the coming months.

The latest aid package will see the government seeking to encourage domestic tourism by offering rebates on hotels and tours for tourists that decide to travel within Greenland.

“Several tourism companies are reporting that they are worried about the coming summer season,” said the Greenlandic government in a news release.

They can see that they have received significantly fewer pre-season bookings. At the same time, the COVID-19 situation continues to affect the rest of the world, and the number of tourists who can – and will – travel on holiday to Greenland over the summer is estimated to be significantly fewer than under normal circumstances.”

An Air Greenland plane in an undated photo. Will discounts help jumpstart local tourism? (Government of Greenland)
Help through summer season

The new aid pacakge encourages hotels and tourism operators to offer COVID-19 discounts that the businesses could then reclaim from the government.

COVID-19 rebates for hotels will run up to 500 Danish kroner (approximately $100 CDN).  Discounts for tours will run up to 300 Danish kroner (approximately $62 CDN). 

“The coronavirus crisis is lasting longer and wider than originally anticipated,” said a joint statement from several Greenlandic organizations, including the Association of Fisherman and Hunters (KNAPK) and the Greenland Employers Association (NUSUKA), welcoming the new industry-specific package.

“We hear from the business community that the tourist industry in particular expects to be affected in the coming time. That is why we are pleased that we have helped to organize the new schemes that can help the tourist industry through the summer season.”

The new initiative will be in effect until September 30.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Scrapped 2020 cruise season will cost communities in Nunavut, Canada almost $1 million, Eye On The Arctic

Finland: Finland joins other Nordic countries in virtual tourism due to pandemic, Yle News

Iceland: Iceland offers COVID-19 testing to international travellers starting June 15, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: All Russia’s North Pole cruises rescheduled to 2021, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Sweden seen as major source of COVID-19 in Western Finland region, Yle News

United States: Airline shutdown creates new challenges for rural Alaska, The Associated Press

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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