The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) is holding its yearly event in Oslo, bringing together leading experts to discuss matters relating to environment, safety and community engagement.
More than 120 participants will gather in Oslo for AECO’s Arctic Cruise Conference, organized for the 16th year in a row. The program of this year’s event will contain a comprehensive range of topics including marine preparedness and search and rescue, as well as destination updates from Svalbard, Greenland, Canada, Russia, Iceland and Antarctica.
The conference also highlights community engagement, a key priority for the Arctic expedition cruise industry and AECO. Industry representatives and local stakeholders will present how cruise tourism can bring local benefits to Arctic communities. Presentations will address how the small community of Longyearbyen has met the challenges and opportunities connected with cruise calls and the what the recent Svalbard Cruise Study reveals about local spending. The participants will also learn how Greenlandic communities are planning to use community specific guidelines to enhance their communication with visiting cruise operators.
Frigg Jørgensen, AECO’s Executive Director explains that community engagement is a prioritized area for the association’s members:
“Cruise operators rely on the hospitality of the communities that they visit, and it is important that cruise calls are a positive experience for everyone involved. Sustainable tourism should be both respectful of local culture and bring benefits to the people of the Arctic,” says Jørgensen, who herself is a resident of Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
In conjunction with the conference, AECO is organizing side meetings focused on maritime issues, developments in Svalbard.
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