Redundancies and financial losses
In 2019, before COVID-19, 725 people were employed in the tourism industry in Greenland, and the industry had a turnover of around 400 million Danish Kroner. In the surveys, 25 percent of tour operators answer that they have had to lay off permanent employees as a consequence of the pandemic, and 55 percent lost between 50 and 99 percent of their revenue for 2020.
“The tourism industry generates jobs and supports economies out on the coast and in the settlements. We estimate that the community missed out on about 300 million Kroner from international tourists last year due to COVID-19. We will only have a complete overview of all the consequences for companies once the tourism industry starts up again,” says Hjörtur Smarason.
Visit Greenland does not currently have data on how many Greenlandic tourism operators have had to close down due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Aid packages and staycation have helped
The report shows that the cost to the tourism industry would have been even greater if the operators had not received aid packages, and no staycation packages had been offered. The increased staycation trend led to 11.8 percent more Greenlandic guests in accommodations during the summer high season.
“The Nunarpuat Nuan campaign, as well as the Government’s support through discounting staycation packages, have been of great importance. This does not replace international tourists, except in a few special cases, but it may be what is needed for many companies to survive the crisis,” explains Visit Greenland’s director.
Visit Greenland, together with the industry, is in the process of launching initiatives that will recreate an international demand for Greenland as an adventure destination. The goal is that, already in 2022, there will be 100,000 tourists a year who set their paths for Greenland.
For further information contact:
Hjörtur Smarason – for general inquiries
Managing Director – Visit Greenland
Mobile: +45 22 80 14 16 / +299 27 99 98
Mads Lumholt – responsible for the tourism statistics report
Senior Marketing Analyst – Visit Greenland
Mobile: +45 31 22 11 71