Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 245

245 Arctic Yearbook 2014   areas to tourism. The first charter flights started from Iceland at the end of the 1950s, bringing tourists to Narsarsuaq in the South or for a day trip to Kulusuk in the east of Greenland. In the mid1960s also SAS, a Danish carrier, started to bring tourists to Narsarsuaq and the number of tourists grew steadily.1 During the 1970s the Pegatigiit Kalaaliit (PK)2 association, the Greenlanders living in Denmark, aware of the potential of the tourism business, wanted local residents to be actively involved in the rising business and not just passive observers (Egede Hegelund 2009). Several meetings were arranged in the 1970s with the municipal authorities and with the local people along the coast of Greenland. In South Greenland, cooperation with the local sheep farmers started, offering as facilities small cabins at the farms and tourists were offered local food and sold sheep wool knitted items. Several Danish Leisure Associations3 took part in the programme, and maps of the area for tourism purposes were produced. At the end of 1975 PK further structured the activity establishing a travel agency, INUK travel4, and making arrangements with air carriers and travel agencies in Denmark with the purpose of having tourist groups coming to Greenland. Things did not turn out as wished; recommendations made by a report published in 1974 by the Ministry for Greenland’s Working Committee on Tourism in Greenland recommend the building of large hotels, the construction of airports and the purchase of aircrafts. This was too challenging for the PK as they felt these recommendations were too much in favour of big business such as the Danish air carriers SAS, Grønlandsfly (Air Greenland) and hotel owners; the local involvement in the tourism business was merely ignored and the impression was that the very large part of the profits derived from tourism activities would go back to Denmark (Egede Hegelund 2009). At the first conference on tourism in Qaqortoq in 1975 the general agreement was that the Greenland political authorities needed to adopt a national tourism policy. From the seventies onwards, Greenland - which in 1979 with the Home Rule became a selfgoverning part of the Danish Realm - was more and more involved in the decision-making process regarding the development of the tourism industry. With the cooperation of the Danish Tourism Board, tourist numbers reached a record of 10,000 in 1981. However unsuitable marketing decisions led to a drastic reduction of these figures to 3,300 in 1987. In the same period, the Greenland Home Rule Government had to face a series of difficulties, most notably unemployment caused by a crisis in the fishing and fish processing industries (95% of the exports) and the closure of a zinc and lead mine at Maarmorilik. During the late 1980s the general recognition of the potential of tourism created some expectations for the future development, and in 1990 the Greenland Landsting (Greenland Parliament) approved the first general Tourism Development Plan5 for the period from 1991 to 2005. The analysis was based on the tourism resources and the attractions of Greenland, and the objective of the plan was to reach a total of 3,000 tourists in 2005 creating as many as 2000-2500 direct jobs and another 1000-1500 jobs in related businesses. Basically, the goal of the plan was to turn tourism into the Touris