Friday, September 6, 2013

Does TOURISM need overhaul or does COMMON SENSE need to prevail? Sport or PR Stunt? You decide!

Nunavut’s tourism strategy needs an overhaul: MLA

"Regulating and enforcing and maintaining safety standards" should be key, says Rankin Inlet North MLA Tagak Curley

The rescue of a group of American jet-skiers in the Northwest Passage, shown here with a zodiac from the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier Sept. 3, sparks questions in the Nunavut legislature on Sept. 5. (FILE PHOTO)
The rescue of a group of American jet-skiers in the Northwest Passage, shown here with a zodiac from the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier Sept. 3, sparks questions in the Nunavut legislature on Sept. 5. (FILE PHOTO)
If southern visitors have learned one thing from Nunavut this past summer, it’s that the territory is a dangerous place.
First, a group of 20 tourists were stranded at a camp near Arctic Bay in Admiralty Inlet in June.
In August, two U.S. tourists, who went fishing on Dubawnt Lake 250 kilometres southwest of Baker Lake were presumed dead after going missing at the end of July.
And most recently, the Canadian Coast Guard had torescued a group of American tourists who tried to navigate through the Northwest Passage on jet skis.
These incidents prompted Rankin Inlet North MLA Tagak Curley to grill economic development minister Peter Taptuna in Nunavut’s legislative assembly Sept. 5 on safety precautions for the tourism industry in Nunavut.
“Can the minister clearly explain how the government’s new tourism strategy addresses the issues of regulating and enforcing and maintaining safety standards in this critical sector of our economy?” Curley asked Taptuna.
The Government of Nunavut released its Tunnagasaiji:Tourism Strategy for Nunavummiut at the legislative assembly last sitting in May — but how to deal with the kinds of emergencies produced by these latest incidents was not necessarily accounted for in that document.
“It is a sad state of affairs when accidents like that do happen,” Taptuna responded.
Taptuna went on to say that tourism operators have to follow guidelines and regulations, but in some cases “there’s some unforeseen circumstances where it’s way out of town or there’s certain rules [that] aren’t followed.”
Curley said all operators should have proper business licenses as well as guides for every single tourist, and asked what amendments to the tourism strategy would be made on safety.
“It is paramount that the safety of the tourists who do come up here is taken into serious consideration,” Taptuna replied.
But Taptuna said sometimes tourists like to go on wildlife or eco-adventures “alone without guidance.”
“We’re definitely looking at that for operators to make sure that these regulations are looked at very carefully for not only to create safety for operators and tourists who are out there, but to make sure that these rules are enforced for the outfitters,” Taptuna said.
Last month the GN issued a warning to all tourists to be careful when on the land. And search-and-rescue operations are climbing each year — as well as the cost of rescuing people.
“Rescue for these individuals requires the efforts of the military, the territorial government, the RCMP and local authorities,” Curley said.
Curley then asked if these search expeditions are “adequately insured to cover the cost of such rescues.”
Taptuna said consultations are being taken place to address the issue.
“I believe that our department is working hard to ensure that if accidents do occur, that there is a plan put in place for all partners to partake in or have a system in place that will make these operations for rescue a lot safer for everyone involved,” Taptuna said.

(7) Comments:

#1. Posted by Andy on September 06, 2013
Curly, how many times did the local SAR or the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton get involved to rescue the experienced guides/local hunters?
#2. Posted by Lynn on September 06, 2013
Does any one know what Nunavut Tourism actually does ?????
Why aren’t the tax payers asking this question?
#3. Posted by Better Yet Is Training the Youth on September 06, 2013
Tagak a Rankin MLA?  Never see him in town, oh thats right his travel budget shows he never travels to RI. Ditto for who ever is the other RI MLA. What is needed more training to who ever is taking the tourist out on the sea ice.
Local HTA or someone has to start training the youth how to go out on the land, hunt, don’t waste or litter and come back without a search being done.
#4. Posted by Tommy Tourist on September 06, 2013
There isn’t much for tourism in Nunavut in the first place besides these outdoor adventure set ups and that is for a very small market. There are tons of opportunities though in Nunavut, still the infrastructure is sorely lacking. Most community hotels are dives, and most smaller communities are filled with litter. outsiders are not always welcomed, but I guess that these things just take time and effort. If you did it right there is a lot of potential though. Many southern Canadians would love the chance to see Nunavut.
#5. Posted by Mariner on September 06, 2013
Didn’t several people (tourists) drown in Clyde River several years ago when a bow head whale overturned a boat and only the operator survived?
Didn’t a tourist die in Arviat when a Barren Land Grizzly chased a tourist into a lake where he died from hypothermia?
Didn’t 2 tourists die in a kayak incident in Pond Inlet?
How many others have died because of the danger involved? That’s what makes it so exciting. No different really then climbing Everest. The risk is half the adventure.
Its not really Nunavut Tourisms fault.
#6. Posted by Seal Sheppard on September 06, 2013
Nunavut Tourism needs a serious overhaul, spending millions on their own travel to useless shows and big companies like CTV’s Amazing Race and CTV morning news.
It’s a fishy groups for sure. No real sense of what tourists experience out on the land, hiding that seal is a real part of us, ED walking around like a big celeb with her entourage of desperate to please employees.
All behind doors at #2 asks, what’s happening to my tax dollars? fun parties at gala’s? And credits for the wrong people. Anyone know why Gord Mackay left the way he left?
#7. Posted by People Notice this Stuff on September 06, 2013
I didn’t realize people noticed this stuff. This article is different than the CBC radio this morning, almost sounded like the Minister didn’t know much about the strategy. Sad to think all that money was invested in Nunavut Tourism to do it. Even worst to read the headline saying it Need an Overhaul. Who accountable? That’s what they do
#6 hit the nail on the head.. Very fishy group. But doesn’t Nunavut need Queen like the ED, who by the way isn’t a ED, she is the CEO. Fancy title for a over funded group. People wonder why ED&T has no SIP funding left..
People continue to notice this stuff.. Change will come..

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