Nunavuot: Tourism Nunavut Tourism looking for authority

NNSL (OCT 04/96) - Nunavut Tourism hopes to run four major segments of the local tourism business by next year.

After meeting with government tourism officials next month, the association will know if it can assume control over marketing, training, product development and visitor services, said president Paul Landry.

"We're ready to take them over," he said.

Using the example of Saskatchewan's tourism authority, which had the government's tourism operations transferred to its control, Nunavut Tourism executives believe something similar can be accomplished in the Eastern Arctic.

And Landry believes the work can be done with funding currently available.

"We believe the private sector can do it more efficiently than government," he said.

The impetus behind the push for more authority over some services comes from the year-old change to the tourism structure in the NWT.

Many of the tourism operators in Nunavut are frustrated with having to go to a government agency in one community for marketing services and another for printing, Landry said.

"They thought Nunavut Tourism was going to simplify things," he said. "It hasn't."

About a year ago the territorial government decided to form one tourism association for the east and one for the west, doing away with the regional association system.

Along with those changes came cuts to government funding. So the executive is developing a business plan and looking for ways to eliminate duplication of services, Landry said.

After Nunavut Tourism officials meet with government officials next month, the association will hold its annual general meeting.

From there it hopes to chart a specific direction for the future after a year of transition.

"We're taking this seriously," Landry said. "It's exciting because it gives us an opportunity to possibly do things in a different way."

Even if marketing, training, product development and visitor services are transferred to the private association, the group still wants the government to continue providing some services, such as parks