With the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting Greenland’s tourism industry, the government has announced a new initiative aimed at bolstering domestic travel.
The mobility package came into effect Tuesday.
“It’s no secret that tourism is hard hit,” said Greenland’s Minister for Industry and Mineral Resources Jens-Frederik Nielsen in a news release.
“The Greenlandic goverment has already launched a number of aid packages, but we have assessed that more is needed. Therefore, I am glad that from today it will be possible to get a subsidy for travel between towns and villages. I hope that many will use this initiative to see places in our beautiful country that they would not otherwise see. The new initiative will thus both be able to provide great experiences for the population and at the same time help to support our local tourism businesses in a difficult time.”
Bolstering domestic tourism to make up for lack of international visitors
A tourism aid package, announced in June, encouraged hotels and tourism operators to offer COVID-19 discounts that businesses could then reclaim from the government.
The COVID-19 rebates for hotels run up to 500 Danish kroner (approximately $100 CDN). And discounts for one tour experience per day run up to 300 Danish kroner (approximately $62 CDN).
After feedback from the business community, the government upped the package on July 17 to include compensation for more than one trip, and to also allow those temporarily residing in Greenland for work to offer and then claim the COVID-19 discounts.
On Tuesday, the new initiative will now allow tourism operators to offer COVID-19 discounts on internal routes between Greenland’s towns and villages.
“The corona crisis has more consequences than first assumed,” said a joint statement from members of the Greenlandic business community and workers’ representatives. “Feedback from the business community suggests that the tourism industry has been hit especially hard this summer. We’re therefore satisfied, in collaboration with the Greenlandic government, to organize this new initiative that can help support the tourist industry. ”
The tourism packages and new mobility initiative will be in effect until September 30.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
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