Tour guides trained to show off Arctic splendours

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Tour guides trained to show off Arctic splendours

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Bored with taking your average package holiday to the sun? Well why not try a vacation to the Arctic !

Students are being trained up to become professional tourist-nature guides in order to meet the increasing demand for a more challenging type of break.

But it is not for the faint-hearted. On the arctic island of Svalbard temperatures can fall to minus 35 Celsius and the main aim of the training is to keep the clients alive.

Ola Einang- trainee guide explained: “Arctic areas are demanding areas, and those who are supposed to be responsible for others need a solid background. But I also think it is important to influence the tourism in Arctic areas and one might have a way of doing so, through the training of the future guides with good attitudes.”

In such extreme cold even the smallest piece of exposed skin can be dangerous – holiday makers need to be shown how to take precautions to enable them to enjoy their surroundings.

Sigmund Andersen is an experienced trainer. “Last year,” he said, “the most common reason for the helicopter being called out was for bare skin, or freezing feet; shoes or ski boots that had been too tight. The cold, and of course the snow can blow a camp of tents away, so there have been several examples of that.”

But as demand for trips to Svalbard has increased so too have the side effects – pollution and green house emissions.

It is hoped the newly trained guides will be able to show the way to preserving the Arctic for visitors in the future.