Indigenous Tourism Business Feature: Tundra North Tours, Inuvik
Tundra North Tours
Every spring, for as long as anyone can remember, reindeer herders take thousands of the magnificent beasts across the tundra to their calving grounds. Tundra North Tours brings guests along for the ride, moving with the reindeer herd across the icy terrain. Soon, with the help of a $10,000 grant, those visitors will ride in a cozy new vehicle.
“We bought a side-by-side, which is essentially like a Jeep on tracks,” says Kylik Taylor, owner of Tundra North. “It’s got heat in it and it’s comfortable so clients are able to travel between the igloos and the reindeer and Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean in comfort.”
And that will help attract more people to the land in Inuvik to see the herd of about 3,000 reindeer. Riding snowmobiles was “too cold and uncomfortable” for a few clients and that was a “drawback” for Tundra North’s partners that market the experience in Europe, China and Canada.
“They loved the trip, they loved everything about it. The guides were great, the experience was great, it was just the transportation wasn’t comfortable enough,” says Taylor. “We were able to tell them that next year’s season we are going to have this piece of equipment and they were on board.” That secured agreements with tour wholesalers.
Taylor, who is of Gwich’in and Inuvialuit decent, used the grant as a deposit on the $43,000 side-by-side. “We don’t have the resources to put a deposit down,” he says. “It was huge for us to be able to do that.”