COVID-19 has hit the tourism industry in Greenland hard, and the outlook for the 2020 cruise season is uncertain. The pandemic has also changed the premise of many workshops and seminars such as the Cruise Greenland Workshop (originally planned for Kangerlussuaq in May) which instead was converted to a digital cruise workshop that was held on May 19th and 20th. The Cruise Workshop 2020 was organized by Visit Greenland and AECO
– Right now, what matters most is finding a safe way to restart tourism so that the profession comes through the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, it is also important to focus on long-term sustainable tourism development. It is our belief that it is best done in close cooperation between cruise operators, authorities, tourism development companies and local players. It has been of great value to our members and AECO to join, said Anders la Cour, Assistant Director at AECO.
The future of cruise tourism in Greenland
During the workshop it soon became clear that there are no great expectations for the 2020 season, and therefore the focus was on how cruise tourism can be resumed safely. The participants discussed, among other things, proposals for alternative cruise products and solutions until the situation is normalized again.
The second part of the workshop dealt with how we can ensure that cruise development considers both capacity in Greenland and the desire for tourism growth.
– Visit Greenland would like a responsible cruise development, which is why we have organized the workshop in collaboration with AECO, which as an organization requires a lot from their members when it comes to sustainable cruise operations in the Arctic. We look forward to continuing the dialogue between all stakeholders and the cooperation with AECO, said Julia Pars, Director of Visit Greenland.
The Greenland Government, regional and local destination companies and cruise operators were among those who participated. With over 50 participants from all over the country – including 12 dialing in AECO members from different time zones – the workshop was considered a success according to the organizers.