Eye on the Arctic: Inuit association in Canada’s eastern Arctic to levy fees on tourism operators
The rise of tourism in Canada’s eastern Arctic, particularly from cruise ships, has prompted the regional Inuit association to start implementing visitor fees on Inuit-owned land in their region.
The fees will apply to both tourism operators and independent travellers effective immediately.
“Inuit in Qikiqtani communities have expressed concern regarding the increased amount of commercial tourism activities in the region, particularly cruise ships,” Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) President P.J. Akeeagok, said in a news release announcing the fees. “QIA put in place these tourism operation fees to generate direct benefits for Inuit in communities impacted by tourism.”
The Qikiqtani Region refers to the Baffin region of Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut. Approximately 19,000 people live in the region. Seventy-eight per cent of the population is Inuit.
The new fees only apply to visits on Inuit-owned land administered by QIA and do not apply for those visiting Crown lands in the region.
… Nunavut’s HTOs are made up of local subsistence hunters that, besides providing support for local hunters, also work to regulate harvesting activities in their communities and are involved in any economic questions that come up around marine and wildlife resources.
“(Cruise ships) visit for a few hours and don’t necessarily leave a lot of money behind,” Joanna Awa, QIA’s lands and resources implementation coordinator, told Eye on the Arctic in a phone interview.