The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has announced that in cooperation with Visit Greenland, they are considering developing site-specific guidelines for Greenland. The two partners have received 80.000 DKK from NORDREGIO (Nordic Council of Ministers Arctic Co-operation Program) to carry out a feasibility study.

Site guidelines is a tool to manage environmentally friendly, safe and cultural considerate tourism on a specific site. Before issuing site-guidelines an on-site vulnerability assessment must be carried out to decide which advice could be given to visitors. When AECO issues guidelines, all AECO’s members – more than 20 operators, operating approximately 25 vessels all over the Arctic, will be required to adhere to these guidelines.

The AECO has already developed 20 different site-specific guidelines for Svalbard and is presently working with the national park “Russian Arctic.” in developing site guidelines for Franz Josef Land in Arctic Russia. In Arctic Canada, a larger national project in co-operation with AECO, also aims at developing a number of site-specific guidelines for the Canadian Arctic.

The site guidelines feasibility study will include considerations related to finances, partners, organization, logistics, geography and more. As a part of this, a number of stakeholders will be invited to participate in a workshop. Given that such a project is considered feasible, funding applications for a full-scale Greenland site-specific guidelines project could be underway already by the end of this year.

AECO is an international association for expedition cruise operators, dedicated to the promotion of responsible, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruise operations in the Arctic. The organization has more than 35 international members who operate approximately 25 vessels in Svalbard, Greenland, Canada and the Russian Arctic. AECO members carry approximately 14 000 passengers to the Arctic annually. AECO also has developed a number of guidelines, which regulate the members’ operations and visitors’ behavior.