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Greenland's Shrinking Ice Means Increased TourismApril 27, 2012 By: Jena Tesse Fox
Greenland has become the center of climate change conversation, CNN is reporting, thanks to its melting ice cap and glaciers. But, the story continues, the increased attention is also driving tourism to the northern country.
Greenland gets about 30,000 cruise visitors per year, a four-fold increase in the past decade. About 35,000 people fly in for visits.
Most visitors to the island still come from Denmark (Greenland is a self-governing Danish territory), and while the second-largest group used to be Germans, North American visitors have surpassed them. Only a few come because they want to see the ice cap before it vanishes, they say. More than 80 percent of the island is covered by it, and the ice is as thick as 14,000 feet in some places, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But it is disappearing.
For the Greenland tourism bureau, climate change is often a part of the discussion. They even devote a page to it on the greenland.com website, where they try to assure potential tourists that melting ice doesn't mean there's nothing to see. In addition to other natural and cultural attractions, "new ice will continue to be created on the ice sheet and there will still be enormous amounts of ice to admire in Greenland for the next many generations," the bureau declares on the site.
As of this summer, travelers will be able to fly between Greenland and Canada. Air Greenland flies from June 18 to September 3 between Nuuk and Iqaluit with two flights weekly on Mondays and Fridays.