CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE
Increased investment in experience- and quality-based tourism is the driving force for Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS now inviting additional resources into the company’s ownership. The Norwegian based Flakk Group becomes the main shareholder in Svalbard’s third largest provider of tourism services, which since its start up has focused on climate friendly operations and history dissemination.
– Flakk Group shows the engagement and ability to develop services based on safeguarding existing values, Norwegian cultural history and respect for the environment. We believe their basic philosophy and long-term strategy will further strengthen our competitive advantage in the Arctic, says Brita Knutsen Dahl, working chairman and share owner of Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS.
Brita Knutsen Dahl, who has developed and run Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS for 20 years, is exiting as shareholder, though continues as chairman of the company until further notice. Svein Wilhelmsen, founder of Basecamp Explorer, will continue with a10 percent ownership.
Flakk Group becomes the main shareholder
The experience and expedition-based tourism in the Arctic has been the foundation of Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen’s operations in Svalbard since 1999. The business has developed unique services under tight regulation in one of the world’s most vulnerable climates. Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen currently operates, among other things, Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel and Nordenskiöld Lodge. Flakk Group is now investing in the ownership structure, and from 29 March 2023 will own 60 per cent of the shares in Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS.
– We believe the Flakk Group, with its portfolio under their existing company 620 NORD, is built on values, strategies and criteria that are very similar to ours. Both companies offer extraordinary experiences in two of Norway’s most spectacular habitats; Sunnmøre and Svalbard. The core of the experiences is the unique accommodation, where both companies focus on the dissemination of history, culture and nature, delivered with high quality,” says Knutsen Dahl, who has worked in the company since 2003.
Barents Aurora Invest AS, controlled by Reynir Indahl and Christian Sinding, also enters as a new minority shareholder in Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS. Reynir Indahl and Christian Sinding are currently minority shareholders in Basecamp Explorer Kenya, where sustainable tourism is a core in their existence. With the investment in Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen, the cooperation is also extended to the north, a destination where sustainable tourism will become even more important in the future. Barents Aurora Invest will be a 30 percent shareholder in the company.
Long-term perspective for tourism in the Arctic
Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS offers, as the only Norwegian organisation, established accommodation on the outskirts of Longyearbyen. Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel is today an exclusive wilderness hotel, which has preserved structure and elements from the former historic radio station, built in 1933.
Nordenskiöld Lodge is the world’s most northerly, commercial accommodation offering, a robust cabin with a unique location between the Nordenskiöld glacier, majestic mountains and the Arctic sea.
The company’s portfolio also includes the characteristic Basecamp Hotel in Longyearbyen, the Trapper’s Station in Bolterdalen and an extensive expedition and equipment rig, which includes cargo boats, snowmobiles and a dog kennel with 80 Alaskan huskies.
– Since 1999, we have operated in one of the world’s most vulnerable climates. We have always focused on ensuring that our services have the least possible impact on the environment. The tourism industry must take action so that we jointly contribute achieving the UN’s climate goals. For us, this means further streamlining of operations, but also the development of even more targeted services for the market. We believe Flakk Group is the right partner on this journey, says Brita Knutsen Dahl.
– We welcome our guests to stay longer when visiting the Arctic, rather than expanding the number of guests. Svalbard is subject to tight regulations, which is essential for future generations to experience the powerful nature and fascinating wildlife at 780 north.’
Jan Sverre Sivertsen, responsible for Flakk Group’s investment in Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen, looks forward contributing to the further development in Svalbard. “We are both proud and happy to be involved in further expanding Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen, together with our dedicated and competent employees in Svalbard. We will do our best to contribute in creating the future’s sustainable tourism services in the Arctic,” says Sivertsen.
Brita Knutsen summarizes; – Together with Flakk Group and Barents Aurora Invest, Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS aims to be a chosen tourism provider and respected organisation with long-term ambitions in Svalbard.