Stricter requirements must be made for tourist guides at Svalbard

More foreigners and fewer Norwegians SvalbardSvalbard airport.Photo wikipedia.org

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The government does not want tourist guides who are not familiar with or do not know enough about the environment in Svalbard and is considering introducing a certification process for guides.

– “We are seeing that more and more guides have no knowledge of the climate or environment in Svalbard. They cannot speak Norwegian. They are there for only shorter periods of time and do not contribute to the social development that we want in Longyearbyen,” says Social Security Minister Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde (Frp) to NRK.

The government is considering requiring guides who will work on Svalbard to be certified. They also consider putting a limit on how many guides are needed on the archipelago.

Policies for disturbing polar bears, traffic and camp stays must also be tightened.

According to Smines Tybring-Gjedde, the number of tourists in Svalbard is in excess of what is justifiable, both for the sake of nature, preparedness and services offered by the archipelago.

Business Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H) says that the consequence for the stricter rules may lead to fewer tourists, but says it will ensure a good tourism offer with good profits for the local players.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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