"We are working on it," said Ronny Brunvoll, director of Visit Svalbard. He has had several meetings with both the Longyearbyen Community Council and the Governor of Svalbard, and has subsequently outlined the scope of organized tourism's activities.
"What is unclear here is the influx of those who do not travel on organized tours," Brunvoll said.
In a letter sent to the council, Visit Svalbard estimates about 1,500 to 2,500 people can come beyond those taken care of by organized tourism. Overall, the agency estimates there are 950 to 1,000 beds in hotels in Longyearbyen.
A challenge to find leadership
The letter to the council also states that one challenge is getting someone to take leadership in the work. Visit Svalbard has been asked to coordinate a program on the plain between Svalbard Scooterutleie and the dog kennels. The agency writes that they "can expect activity far beyond what we have control over and there the community must give way."
"We must make sure that we do not drop a brick here, so that this will not be a long-lasting reputational problem," Brunvoll said.