Kangiata Illorsua – the Icefjord Centre in Ilulissat – will soon welcome visitors inside. This new visitor centre will attract more tourists to the area.
When the Icefjord Centre in Ilulissat opens its doors on the 3rd of July, it will be the culmination of many years’ work. The idea for the Icefjord Centre arose back in 2015, when Naalakkersuisut, Avannaata Municipality and philanthropic organisation Realdania joined forces to create a visitor centre close to the UNESCO-listed Kangia Icefjord. This protected area is already popular with tourists who would like to experience the beautiful nature and see the consequences of climate change. Visit Greenland’s Managing Director, Hjörtur Smárason, believes that the Icefjord Centre will have great importance for tourism development in Ilulissat:
“Tourism development is high on the agenda in Greenland. And Kangiata Illorsua – Ilulissat Icefjord Centre – plays an important role in this, as the first of six planned visitor centres at major tourist attractions in Greenland. The partnership formed between the Government of Greenland, Avannaata Municipality and the philanthropic organisation Realdania are thus a very significant contribution to the development of tourism in Greenland,” he explains.
Wiser about the significance of climate change
The spectacular 1,500 m2 building was designed by Danish architect Dorte Mandrup, who got the idea for the design when she saw a snowy owl land on a mountain. When visitors enter the Icefjord Centre, they will experience the exhibition “The Tale of Ice,” which takes them on a journey through the creation of ice, and of life on and by the icefjord.
The opening of the Icefjord Centre will be affected by COVID-19, and it will therefore primarily be locals who pay visits at first. In the long term, the Icefjord Centre will attract tourists from all over the world, who want to see and learn more about the ice and its meaning, and about the impact of climate change on nature and on the everyday life of the local population:
“We hope that those who visit the Icefjord Centre and the icefjord will leave here with an awareness that man cannot be above nature. That nature and man are one, that we must take care of nature, and that it is only on loan,” explains the leader of the Icefjord Centre, Elisabeth Momme.
A new gathering place
In addition to disseminating knowledge about ice, life with and by the ice, and climate change, the Icefjord Centre also serves as a gathering place, where locals and tourists can grab a bite to eat in the visitor centre’s café, or sit and enjoy the view on the building’s open roof. At each end of the Icefjord Centre, there is a deck where visitors can brush the dirt off their boots after a hike in one of the area’s UNESCO hiking trails.
Various cultural events and activities will also be held throughout the winter months.
Asbjørn Bargsteen, who works with tourism in Avannaata Municipality, is certain that the Icefjord Centre will benefit local operators as well as international agents:
“The Icefjord Centre will add yet another aspect to the experiences available in Ilulissat. It will become a natural part of tourists’ visits to the town, since it is part of the scenery near the UNESCO world heritage site. When local operators lead tours, or refer people to the boardwalk to Sermermiut, a visit to the Icefjord Centre will be a natural extension of this. It also adds another indoor experience to international agents’ portfolios, which will help to give the shoulder seasons a well-deserved boost,” says Asbjørn Bargsteen.
The opening of the Icefjord Centre will be celebrated with a large kaffemik and open house on 3rd July from 11am, to which everyone is welcome (note that the Icefjord Centre has room for 150 guests at a time). Read more at www.isfjordscentret.gl.
For further information contact:
Hjörtur Smarason – for general questions
Managing Director – Visit Greenland
Mobile: +45 22 80 14 16 / +299 27 99 98
Email: [email protected]
Leader of the Icefjord Centre in Ilulissat
Mobile: +299 555588
Email: [email protected]