Misleading images of polar bears withdrawn from Svalbard promotions

Misleading close up images of polar bears are to be removed from promotional material for Svalbard in a “responsible marketing” drive.

The Arctic archipelago has redrawn its marketing guidelines in an effort to promote the destination in an ethical and sustainable manner.

Promotions should refrain from close-ups or intrusive shots of wildlife, particularly polar bears, to emphasise that encounters with wild animals are respectful and unobtrusive as part of the new sustainable marketing guidelines.

Visit Svalbard sales and marketing co-ordinator Hakon Daae Brensholm said: “We firmly believe that sustainable tourism starts with responsible marketing. 

“Our aim is to present the reality of visiting Svalbard to prospective travellers, without sensationalising or distorting the experiences they can have with our unique wildlife and landscapes.”

The new marketing guidelines for the northern Norway region steer away from misleading practices, such as using close-ups of polar bears, “which could give visitors false impressions of their wildlife encounters on the archipelago”.

Visit Svalbard added that it “recognises that sustainable tourism is not about attracting a high volume of guests at any cost, but rather about striking a balance that preserves the pristine nature of the destination. 

“By targeting the right volume of the right guests, in the right place, and at the right time, Visit Svalbard aims to ensure that tourism contributes positively to the local communities and fosters respect for the fragile Arctic environment.”

The aim is to create a positive impact on the environment, local communities and wildlife by ensuring that promotional material “accurately depict the experiences visitors can expect, avoiding any exaggerations or misrepresentations”.

Brensholm added: “This comprehensive handbook not only sets clear criteria for responsible marketing in specific situations, but also acts as an invaluable guide for all our endeavours, regardless of the topic at hand. 

“I firmly believe that our handbook empowers us to assess all our communications and by working together, we can guarantee that the enchanting magic of Svalbard is preserved for generations to come, he concludes.”

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