Northern Tourism report card
May 12, 2013
Up Here Business magazine gives its report card on the tourism sector in the three northern territories.
- The number of visitors travelling to NWT to watch the Northern Lights and to visit friends and relatives has held steady, traffic and spending among tourists has plummeted in some of the industry’s sectors like hunting and fishing. Total visitors were 64,380 in 2011.
- Yukon attracts three times the visitors of the NWT and Nunavut combined, generating more than $200 million a year. There’s more road infrastructure to support tourists as a result of the territory’s history of military and mining, and the Yukon sports the cheapest airfares from major cities in the south. Parks Canada pulled its funding from tours at the sites last summer, announcing it would offer business licenses to private companies interested in taking over the tours. Some were skeptical that anyone would step up. “It’s going to take a miracle to pull this off at this time,” said Blake Rogers, executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon. Total visitor number in 2011 were 314,450.
- Still a young territory, Nunavut faces unique challenges in building its tourism industry. There are no roads through the eastern Arctic and flying there is costly. The majority of visitors that come through the territory are businessmen (57 per cent), not international tourists keen on trekking out on the land. Total visitor number in 2011 were 30,525.
Winter tourism seems to be a bright spot for all territories. Aboriginal tourism also is a growing area of business. Trained staff is a challenge in Nunavut.
All round an excellent summary piece by Up Here Business.
- a)Vivian Belik, "Bright spots and bleak prospects: a Northern tourism report card" Up Here Business, May-2013, pp35-47. see http://www.upherebusiness.ca/node/561