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Nicholas Hall

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In the world of entrepreneurship, founders are regarded as role models, leaders, ambitious, successful, highly driven and uniquely adept at identifying opportunities overlooked by others. This admiration is well deserved, considering 90% of start-ups fail within the first year, but a recent visit from to Nuuk reveals a richer side to earning a living as an entrepreneur.

Being a founder doesn’t always mean entering a world of high risk, rapid growth tech startups that are so celebrated in society today. Working with Nuuk’s tourism industry gives a completely different perspective on the business world, one that we here at the Digital Tourism Think Tank (#DTTT) are keen to champion. It represents the very essence of what can be so valuable about encouraging people to start a business.

Workshops & Training

Brought in by Sermersooq Business Council to work with a cohort of individually selected tourism businesses, my team and I at the #DTTT ran an intensive programme of workshops during a full weekend of activities. They were designed to give tourism businesses a boost to receive the support needed to get going and to grow. As a leading force in tourism, our expertise is laser-focused on navigating digital and consumer trends and helping destinations and their industry’s stay relevant and competitive. Increasingly, that comes with the need transform their entire mindset, approach and thinking around how to create value through the visitor economy.

Tourism in Nuuk

Over in Nuuk, we saw a microcosm of inspiration when it comes to opportunity and these are learnings that we can take to destinations we work with around the world. Surprisingly, Nuuk remains a rare gem yet to be fully discovered and that leaves the door wide open to opportunity. We had the pleasure to work with a group of passionate, motivated and committed businesses ready to give all of their time in appreciation for ours. We often talk about the importance of a method known as ‘conscious leadership’, where everybody in their personal and professional life is invited to look at the difference between what they say they’re doing and what they’re actually doing. In Nuuk however, we saw conscious leadership very much naturally adopted by every participant.

Amongst the group selected for the programme, we got hands-on working with seasoned local businesses such as Tupilak Tours through to concept stage businesses just starting out or hoping to diversify their existing offer into tourism. The diversity of the offer in Nuuk is what makes such a series of workshops so interesting to lead and the infancy of the destination in terms of development is what makes the opportunity for Nuuk so unique, only just now starting to become competitive in tapping into city break tourism which is markedly differentiated from the national brand.

We’ve been tracking the work of Visit Greenland since our inaugural event back in 2012 when they impressed competitors with the Arctic 5, and indeed we recently invited the team back this April to talk about their success in content creation with a Visit Greenland’s Sarah Woodall talking at our annual content event. The awe of Greenland’s pioneering nature, its scale and the extreme nature of experiences have long been on the bucket list for many. Working with businesses in Nuuk however, shows the potential for an altogether different kind of tourism, one that is more accessible and appealing to independent travellers looking to dip their toes in the pioneering nature of Greenland.

Tourism businesses in Nuuk

From the more established businesses who took part in the workshop, developing tactics and strategy to improve online reputation, drive awareness through content creation and storytelling and building a following and engagement on social media were all priorities. We worked with them to provide recommendations through a series of one to one consultations and they actively took note on what changes they need to make. What’s exciting here is to see how important the visitor’s experience is in shaping what people say about a business when searching for inspiration online and how ultimately that is influencing the entire decision-making process. Amplifying what’s great about an experience can directly lead to more bookings.

At the other end of the scale, our team were simply inspired by the enthusiasm with which other business owners approached new ideas. From a Jewellery designer with the most unique and authentic craftsmanship you could imagine, what better thing to home from Greenland, to Greenland’s most passionate coffee enthusiast, with ideas to drip coffee over Greenlandic ice and develop a product line in the long run. The individuals we met and worked with provided so much inspiration that has kept with us since.

Nuuk is a place of amazing people, from the family business that wants to keep on improving to the young photographer who realises in the process of a weekend like this that he can bring so much to businesses in need of his creative talent. Stine Anderson from Sermersooq Business Council worked with in preparing the two days of workshops with us and has been an incredible advocate for the wealth of amazing and talented people who could be key in developing Nuuk as a destination. She’s aware of the early stage development Nuuk is in when compared to other destinations and that’s precisely what drives her, knowing that backing small business owners is the right way to invest in creating an incredible place to turn visit. Creating ambassadors through amazing discoveries, stories, uniquely authentic experiences and true to Nuuk’s core is fundamental to building a strong tourism industry and translating the value of that into passion driven livelihoods which have potential to make a really positive impact.

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