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Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon Conference

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On Friday, April 17 2015, at the TIAY conference in Dawson City, Yukon, I discussed our experience Building a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism Businesses in the North.

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Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon Conference

  1. 1. Building a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism Businesses in the North @johngunter
  2. 2. Frontiers North Adventures • Expert-guided tours in Canada’s north since ’79. • Best access in the world to wild polar bears. • Significant resources invested in Churchill, MB. • Winniepg-based. • One of 11 hand-picked inaugural Canadian Tourism Commission Signature Experiences.
  3. 3. Mission Frontiers North Adventures delivers quality nature adventures in a sustainable and responsible manner, inspiring our guests to become invested in Canada’s north. We ensure our guests view and photograph the wildlife of the north as well as experience history, culture and customs of the people of the north.
  4. 4. Churchill’s Three Seasons • Winter northern lights. • Summer beluga whales and polar bears. • Autumn polar bears.
  5. 5. Core values • Above all we are hosts. • Invested in the communities and environments in which we operate. • Passionate to share the resources that have been made available to us.
  6. 6. Corporate Social
 Responsibility 1. Environmental Practices. 2. Workforce and Employees. 3. Community Commitment. 4. Education. 5. Corporate Giving.
  7. 7. 1. Environmental Practices • Utilize existing trail network. • Manage against environmental impact assessment. • Grey water management. • Replaced electric block heaters with diesel-fired units.
  8. 8. 2. Workforce & Employees • Staff contribute to action planning. • Profit sharing up to 10% of salaries. • Code of Conduct and Workplace Respect policies. • Diverse Workplace:
 - 12% of our staff are Aboriginal.
 - 6% are a visible minority.
 - 62% of management team are women.
  9. 9. 3. Community Commitment • We’re from Churchill. • $1.8M investment = ~ $8M economic activity. • Purchasing policy favours local, Aboriginal suppliers. • Employ locals if possible, FNA goal to be world class. • Leakage - 35 seasonal employee
  10. 10. 4. Education • Nobody buys a “learning vacation”. • We hire only the best guides in Canada. • Share contemporary and traditional knowledge. • PolarBearCam with Polar Bears Int’l & explore.org.
  11. 11. 4. Education Polar Bears International: • PBI Climate Alliance and Leadership Camps. • PBI Tundra Connections. • PBI Field Ambassadors. • PBI Citizen Science. • Polar Bear Cam (FNA, PBI, explore.org).
  12. 12. Kyle Schutt Director Discovery® Communications Seth Stapleton Postdoctoral at University of Minnesota Dr. Thomas Smith Brigham Young University Jody Reimer Graduate Student at University of Alberta Dr. Don Moore Smithsonian's National Zoo Dr. Steve Amstrup • Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International Geoff York Sr. Dir. of Conservation for Polar Bears International Dr. Andrew Derocher • University of Alberta Dr. Megan Owen • Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Cecilia Bitz Polar Science Center, University of Washington Terry Godwaldt The Centre for Global Education Alysa McCall Field Programs Manager for Polar Bears International Dr. Stephen Petersen International Polar Bear Conservation Centre Dr. Jennifer Kay University of Colorado
  13. 13. Oct-Nov 2014 Education Program Metrics • Tundra Connections
 75,000+ audiences (mostly classrooms)
 4000+ views of archived Connections • Live Polar Bear Cams
 425,000+ views
 55,400+ hours streamed
  14. 14. 5. Corporate Giving • Total corporate giving to exceeds national standards of 1% of pre-tax profits measured by the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility. • FNA 2014 corporate giving was 6% of pre-tax profits.
  15. 15. Corporate Social
 Responsibility 1. Environmental Practices. 2. Workforce and Employees. 3. Community Commitment. 4. Education. 5. Corporate Giving.
  16. 16. FNA Review • Experiences hinged on wildlife and culture. • We try to answer “why”, not “what”. • Business built on a solid CSR framework. • We’re a tourism company, not a polar bear tourism co. • Guest and staff safety more important than your selfie.
  17. 17. ID the Consumer Need • To acquire a sense of place. • To remain safe, engaging, inspired. • Top priority is customer service. “Product” secondary. • “Meh, that’s the north for ya,” No longer cuts it. • Guest expectations must be met, if not exceeded.
  18. 18. FNA Selling Channels • Direct to guests (FIT, group & incentive guests). • Travel agents (10% commission) • Tour operators (20% commission) • Receptive operators (25% commission) • Media & Travel Industry FAMs (CTC & DMO support)
  19. 19. FNA Selling Channels • Geographic markets vs Social demographics. • Consider consumer-type, regardless of geography. • Leisure travellers: selling network (i.e. tour operators). • Consumers’ whose values align with our own: direct. • CSR FIT, CSR corporate, Zoological, Polar bear-nuts.
  20. 20. Adventurer
 Travellers Classic
 Tourists Photographers Self guided Expert Tour Guide Pro Photo Guide Time- &
 cost-efficient White glove Most time
 with wildlife Large-sized groups Medium-sized groups Small-sized groups
  21. 21. Adventurer
 Travellers Classic
 Tourists Photographers Self guided Expert Tour Guide Pro Photo Guide Time- &
 cost-efficient White glove Most time
 with wildlife Large-sized groups Medium-sized groups Small-sized groups
  22. 22. Adventurer
 Travellers Classic
 Tourists Photographers Self guided Expert Tour Guide Pro Photo Guide Time- &
 cost-efficient White glove Most time
 with wildlife Large-sized groups Medium-sized groups Small-sized groups
  23. 23. Trends • Price not the most precious commodity. Time is. • Guests now desire 5-day deliverables in 1-2 days. • Wi-fi. • Better cuisine. • Travel goals aligned with desire to do good.
  24. 24. Thank you! @JohnGunter FrontiersNorth.com Lets chat! Who has the first question?

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