As far as vacation destinations go, Greenland probably hasn’t been at the top of people's lists — but new evidence shows that may be changing.
The world’s largest island was thrust into the spotlight last week after President Donald Trump said he would be interested in buying the country, which is an autonomous Danish territory. Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the idea of buying another country in 2019 is “absurd.” That prompted Trump to cancel his state visit to Denmark on Sept. 2.
Greenland’s tourism board has used the attention to remind Americans that the country is open for business and eager to host tourists. Travel websites are already noticing an increase in searches from people figuring out what it would cost to visit Greenland.
Hayley Berg, an economist at travel booking website Hopper, told NBC News that there has been a 337 percent spike in interest coming from the United States ever since Greenland started making headlines last week.
“There has been an unusual spike in search demand for travel to Greenland this week which began following comments in the news about the [attempted] U.S. purchase of the territory,” Berg said.
Getting to Greenland will take some serious cash — and patience. The easiest way to get there by air from the United States is to catch a flight to Denmark and then back track with a flight to one of Greenland’s airports.
Intrepid Travel, which is launching a Greenland-specific expedition tour next year, reported a 237 percent increase in visitors to its Greenland travel pages last weekend.
Americans are the third-largest tourism group in Greenland, following Denmark and Germany. Last year, 4,285 Americans traveled by plane to Greenland, marking a 30 percent increase from the previous year. Data on cruise guests for 2018 isn’t yet available, but Greenland’s official website said 3,691 Americans visited the country by ship in 2017. That’s a 67 percent increase from the previous year.
Getting to Greenland will take some serious cash — and patience. The easiest way to get there by air from the United States is to catch a flight to Denmark and then backtrack with a flight to one of Greenland’s airports, which will easily cost an additional $1,000, according to an online search.
But the payoff may be worth it. On the ground, visitors can look forward to taking in the sights of untouched nature, including icebergs, wildlife and majestic mountains.