Nunavik listed on travel magazine’s top 50 tours
"Inuit Odyssey" includes muskox viewing, mussel-picking, throat-singing, dogsleds
The magazine National Geographic Traveler has selected a trip to Nunavik for its “2011 Tours of Lifetime” issue.
The May-June issue of the glossy magazine features its picks for the world’s top 50 tours, including a trip to Kangiqsujuaq and neighbouring Diana Island.
The trip, called “Inuit Odyssey,” takes visitors to Diana Island to see muskox, then to Kangiqsujuaq for mussel-picking under the ice, traditional throat singing and dogsledding with “the region’s top mushers.”
The package is co-ordinated by Quebec City tour operator ENF Canada, in partnership with two Inuit-owned organizations, the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec’s Inuit Adventures, and a local landholding subsidiary called Aventures Kangiqsujuaq.
ENF Canada’s founder Roc Anctil calls the recognition a “great surprise.”
“Even though this is a great trip, I didn’t think we’d make the list,” Anctil said. “But this means exposure for Nunavik and I think it will create a buzz.”
Nunavik was one of only two Canadian destinations selected in the list, including the Great Bear rainforest in British Columbia. The list of top 50 tours also includes white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon and a Serengeti bush trek in Tanzania.
Anctil calls the Nunavik trip “an authentic, off the beaten track” destination, which only a handful of people have taken.
“We’ve always worked with very small groups to make sure the experience is unique and personal,” Anctil said. “We’re not looking for volume; we’re looking for the best experience.”
Recognition for Nunavik’s tourism potential comes on the heels of Quebec launching its Plan Nord to open up the province’s North – and tourism is one industry that this plan eyes for development.
What that will mean for Nunavik remains to be seen, although Quebec has committed to making the region a “sustainable, world-class tourist destination” by 2021.
Anctil said he hopes Plan Nord will offer support for the local tourist initiatives happening across Nunavik, so the region can continue to offer visitors an authentic, made-at-home experience.
“Personally, I’d like to see tourism developed by and through local communities in Nunavik,” Anctil said. “Not corporations from outside the country.”
You can visit National Geographic Traveler’s top 50 tours here.