Pond Inlet Report

About Cruise Tourism in Pond Inlet

During 2010, 47 people who have a connection to the cruise sector in Pond Inlet were interviewed. The questions related to the costs and benefits of the industry to the community. Those interviewed were also asked to think about strategies to minimize costs and maximize benefits of cruise tourism to the community, as well as to Nunavut more generally.

Benefits Identified:

- Cultural shows provide unique opportunities for local performers to learn about Inuit culture while also showcasing Inuit culture and traditions.

- Guided walks were important to share local history with visitors.

- Cruise tourism can make residents feel proud of their culture.

- The opportunity to meet new people, make friends and participate in activities with visitors.

- Generation of seasonal, indirect and supplementary income for the community, especially guides, carvers, artists and performers.

- Cruises allow for relatively large numbers of visitors to be hosted in a short time.

Concerns Identified

- Minimal money spent among visitors (especially Europeans).

- Inappropriate  and anti-social behavior of some local children.

- A sense of intrusion by cruise visitors compounded by tourist’s lack of understanding of subsistence lifestyles and by inappropriate photography of local people and property by tourists.

- Local protests may send the wrong message to cruise companies.

- Standard of arts and crafts could be improved for saleability.

- Adverse effect on marine wildlife.

- Increased risk of marine pollution.

- Variable ice conditions and existence of choke points especially in the Northwest Passage.

- Poor charting of safe shipping lanes throughout the Arctic.

- Fear of passenger safety due to vessel grounding and/or sinking with only limited SAR capability.

- Increased risk of breaches bio-security and sovereignty.

Community-Specific Strategies to Minimize Concerns:

- Consider an Arts and Crafts Association and establish standard pricing policy.

- Set-up a regular Trade/Craft Show to market local goods and provide opportunities for demonstrations, possibly using the amphitheater next to the visitors centre.

- Provide opportunities for visitors to interact with performers and consider ways to integrate modern Inuit culture into cultural demonstrations.

- Provide a better welcome to the beach, and clean up the beach area.

- Provide a local liason person to help improve communication and coordination between ship, shore and the community.

- Raise awareness among local residents, and especially children about the tourists and curise tourism in Nunavut.

- Provide a pre-trip planning guide for tour operators about the community and in particular to espablish what is and what is not appropriate behaviour in the community.

- Establish a local “Cruise Ship Committee” to provide a coordinated approach to the management of cruise vists, as well as to develop a local cruise tourism policy, to clarify roles, provide pre and post season briefings to the community, and to consider charging a landing fee to cruise operators.

- Use local guides more regularly for community tours (and include more cultural heritage sites such as the Sod House), and provide a vehicle for those visitors with limited mobility.

- Provide more assistance at the visitor centre to manage tourists on the day of their visit, and consider use of the community centre for larger groups of cruise visitors.

- Improve interpretive provision in Sirmilik National Park.

- Monitor impact of cruise tourists at heritage and archaeological sites.

Industry-Specific Strategies to Minimze Concerns:

- Appoint Inuit environmental montiors on cruise ships.

- Improve communication between ships and communities.

- Provide an information sheet on the community for all passengers.

- Coordinate itineraries to avoid clustering of cruise visits.

- Provide reliable up to date itineraries so communities can be prepared.