Nunavut Tourism redefines itself
Organization set to refocus energy on development angle

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Dec 07/98) - During Nunavut Tourism's fourth annual conference and general meeting in Iqaluit last week, the membership conveyed a strong message to the executive: change the way the operation is run.

According to Paul Landry, the president of the association, strategic planning sessions with a consulting firm and Nunavut Tourism's staff, board of directors and members, made it clear that outfitters and tourism operators across the territory wanted the organization to focus more on product development.

Landry said the 50-odd members present at the meetings felt that enough marketing had been done for at least two or three years and that it was time for the organization to focus their energy on upscaling the products they had to offer their clientele.

"Tourism development and training has to be a priority over the next number of years," Landry said.

A all-encompassing term that involves anything that betters the services for people visiting the territory, tourism development will allow those in the industry to offer a more standardized and better quality stay.

"We need to meet a certain level of standards because clients pay more to come here than they pay to go to the jungles of South America," Landry said.

Members also identified improved communication and increased membership services as priorities the board must consider during their changes.

The results of a five-city, $100,000 focus group study were released during the AGM with the main purpose being to provide industry workers with a better idea of what kind of products they should develop and who they should market them to, Landry said.

The findings indicated that most tourists interested in Nunavut were between the ages of 40-55, very educated, had travelled extensively and were looking for an educational, environmentally-safe experience. They also wanted to experience Inuit culture and liked to see people dressed in traditional skin clothing.