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LT&C Study Tour to the High Arctic 2014

It all started in the 90s when cooperation between conservation NGOs and Arctic tour operators resulted in new national parks and improved environmental policies for Svalbard. Norway even set the goal to make Svalbard the best-managed wilderness area in the world. Building on this success, WWF with partners from tourism business and research, developed the Arctic tourism guidelines "Linking Tourism & Conservation in the Arctic" (PDF), which were distributed in several Arctic languages. The idea grew further when GRID-Arendal developed its own project "Linking Tourism & Conservation" and integrated it into the "Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism" of UNEP, UNESCO, UNWTO and others. 

The ship M/V Ortelius in the background

Meanwhile several examples in the world have been described  (so called "LT&C Cases"; Svalbard is just one of them), where the cooperation between conservation and tourism had led to the establishment of protected areas or the support and improvement of their management. It is now time to make these examples better known, learn from them and identify incentives and tools to replicate or boost them.

In this context, I conducted in recent years study tours to the Arctic, where I presented the LT&C concept on site. Thereby tours around Svalbard, where many aspects of the entire circumpolar Arctic can be shown on one archipelago, proved to be in particular inspiring and motivating. This year I am planning a study tour, which starts in Svalbard, continues along the ice edge to North/East Greenland and ends in North Iceland. This is a voyage in the late Arctic summer (good chances for different whale species, seals, polar bears and nice light conditions), which is not often offered by tour operators.

With our Dutch tour-operating partner, "Oceanwide Expeditions", who has participated during the last 20 years in cooperation with conservation organisations and Linking Tourism & Conservation, I have agreed to conduct a workshop on board the M/V Ortelius to further develop the initiative.

This will happen August 31 - September 12, 2014 from Longyearbyen/Svalbard along the ice edge to North-East Greenland and return to Iceland (Akureyri).

You find a description of the voyage on the Oceawide Expeditions web site: On the GRID-Arendal web site you find information on the Linking Tourism & Conservation project and photos of earlier study tours to Svalbard  and Greenland. You may also look at the short videos, where participants of expeditions to Franz Josef Land and Svalbard talk about their experiences. 

If you are interested in this year's Arctic LT&C study tour you can benefit from the following discounts Oceanwide Expeditions offered to GRID-Arendal: If you book a bed in a quadruple or triple cabin, you will get a 20% discount, and if you book a more expensive cabin, you will travel 10% cheaper than the "normal" passenger on this voyage. You only need to express your interest in the Linking Tourism & Conservation initiative and this study tour to me and let me forward your name and contact to the tour operator Oceanwide Expedtions. You then will be contacted by the tour operator, who will do the booking with you on the following discounted prices (given in Euro):

Quadruple Porthole  Triple‚Ä®Porthole  Twin Porthole Twin Window Superior Suite
3.440  4.240  5.580  5.805  6.930  7.830

Let me know your interest as soon as possible, and you are very welcome to spread the information (which I also attach as pdf file) also to others you know that may be interested in experiencing pristine high Arctic nature and learn how tourism can support nature conservation.

Best wishes!

Dr. Peter Prokosch
Managing Director