Winter tourism gets thumbs up
Hundreds of thousands will see region on TV this December

by Glenn Taylor
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Apr 18/97) - Winter tourism just got another shot in the arm.

Camera crews working for TSN (Total Sports Network) of Toronto were in town last week filming the area for a snowmobiling show to be aired this December in Canada and the U.S.

The crew came here not just to film the wilderness and people, but to decide whether or not they should recommend the area to viewers.

"Our show doesn't pull any punches. If we think a trip is no good, we tell people so on our show," said cameraman Steve Hayward. "We'll be recommending the area on our show, and telling people this is a do-able trip."

The five-member crew used a local snowmobile touring company and made trips to Aklavik, Tuk, the Caribou Hills and the Richardson Mountains, all by snowmobile. According to Hayward, this may be one of their best shoots yet.

"We're neophytes as far as the Arctic goes," said Hayward. "But quite frankly we were presently surprised at how warm and hospitable this place is."

The results of their trip will be featured in two episodes of TSN's Raceline Snowtrax, a Saturday show dedicated to snowmobiling adventures.

Hayward said he expects the show to run in December, and said he would let the xxxDrum know when it will run. (We'll pass that info to the readers when we get it.) A reporter from xxxSuper Trax and xxxAtlantic Snowmobilers magazines also tagged along and plans to feature the area in upcoming articles.

Others in the five-member crew also had good things to say about the area. "Great community you got here," says executive producer Bruce Nehlenbacher. "This is the most beautiful place I've ever been to. This is five days I will never forget."

"There's lot of potential here" to further develop winter tourism, according to Debbie Burke, producer and co-host. "The stumbling block will be affordability."

Winter tourism is a growing field for the region, and some local companies have been formed to take advantage of the fact. Snowmobile tour companies, dog sled outfits and other groups are starting to promote the area to the southern market, and it appears it's beginning to pay off.

Certainly the hundreds of thousands who see this show won't hurt the industry.