Arctic Bay, Nunavut, is making plans to revive its tourism industry after a ban on filming at the floe edge caused at least one major tour operator to take its business elsewhere.

The community’s Hunters and Trappers Organization banned filming at the floe edge in May 2007 in response to a National Geographic article on the narwhal hunt that they felt portrayed the community in a negative light.

Arctic Bay

Clare Kines, Arctic Bay's economic development officer, said the community has since agreed they want to see more visitors.  

They hope to create a community tourism office that would allow several community members to act as guides or outfitters without having to create, market and advertise their own businesses.

"In terms of economic development up here, there's very little we have to offer for sale, other than our beauty, the people here, our culture and things along that line, so tourism's a good fit," he said.

Graham Dickson, president of tour company Arctic Kingdom, said when the ban was imposed, they diverted clients to other North Baffin communities. But for the past three years, they've been back.

"I think we've made great strides in bringing quite considerable numbers of people to somewhere that is very remote and very expensive to get to."

Dickson said they plan to offer more tours highlighting Arctic Bay's stunning cliffs, narwhals and marine life.

For one spectacular trip last spring, the company shipped in a hot air balloon for a Mexican couple and their four children.

"Then we hauled it out to the floe edge by snowmobile and kamotik, and then you wait for the right conditions and we did one beautiful flight by some twin towering icebergs that really has had some international acclaim."

Photos of the balloon hovering over the icebergs travelled around the world and were in contention for a National Geographic photo contest.

Dickson said this was the second time his company has used a hot air balloon in Arctic Bay, and it's something he'd like to offer to more customers.