Photo Essay: One Year Of Visitors Up The Inuvik-Tuk Highway And Investments In Support

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November 16, 2018

Yesterday marked one year since the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway opened our Arctic year-round more than ever before.

Rising Numbers

Based on preliminary visitor centre numbers, the response has been staggering. In 2018, more than 6600 people from outside the NWT visited the Western Arctic Visitor Centre in Inuvik. That’s an increase of more than 2300 from 2017.

Down the now world-famous road, more than 2300 visited the new visitors centre that opened in Tuktoyaktuk at the end of July.

Meanwhile, the region’s parks also enjoyed an extraordinary increase in use with 4 out of 5 parks seeing visitor increases of over 100% and Gwichin Park recording an incredible 233 % growth from last summer.  


Tuktoyaktuk has been booming all year. It’s a big change — with new opportunities to match.

That required support both leading up to the opening, and through the first big touring season. The department invested more than $311,000 in public initiatives, including:

  • Funding Economic Development Officers
  • Tourism Development Staff
  • Cultural Centre feasibility study
  • Interpretive signage
  • Snow village Ice sculptures
  • Winter Festival
  • Community beautification
  • Visitor Centre

Investments of more than $41,000 were in private business looking to open or expand to take advantage of the boom. 

Sights and Stories

Here’s a look back at some of the sights and stories from the first year.

The Arctic sunset casts the sky in reds and orange on a trip down the highway

Tuktoyaktuk Visitor Centre - Bustling with activity

The Tuktoyaktuk Visitors Information Centre bustling with visitor activity

Related: New Visitors Information Centre Opens Doors In Tuktoyaktuk

Motocyclists travelling in TuktoyaktukA caravan of motorcyclists on the shores of the Arctic Ocean — among the first to do it in Tuk


Tourists staring at a Pingo in Tuktoyaktuk

Visitors are enchanted by the unique experience of Tuktoyaktuk

Silverado Launch - Kids sit in truck as it gets ready to drive down the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway

Local kids get a first look at the new Chevy Silverado before it dashes down the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway as part of its launch.

Related: Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway Gets Spotlight In National Chevy Media Launch

Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway Opening License Plate

One year ago, when coast-to-coast-to-coast became a reality for Canada right here in the NWT

Related: Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway Opens