Pro­mote Ice­land

Reykjavik Business Travel Guide - - BUSINESS TRAVEL -

ONE COM­PANY to have over­seen both sides of the Ice­landic coin over the past seven years is Pro­mote Ice­land who, as a pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship since 2010, has looked to re­vive the coun­try’s good im­age and rep­u­ta­tion by en­cour­ag­ing not just tourism, but the key eco­nomic driv­ers and in­dus­tries that will make the na­tion more sus­tain­able in the fu­ture.

“Pro­mote Ice­land looks to at­tract for­eign tourists and in­vest­ments to the coun­try, while as­sist­ing in the pro­mo­tion of Ice­landic cul­ture abroad,” Man­ager of Visit Ice­land & Cre­ative In­dus­tries at the Com­pany, Sig­urðar­son states. “The idea was to com­bine all pro­mo­tional ef­forts for Ice­land to­gether un­der one or­gan­i­sa­tion; in­clud­ing trade, tourism, cul­ture and for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments. This is also done in close co­op­er­a­tion with Ice­landic em­bassies and con­sulates abroad, as well as bi­lat­eral cham­bers of com­merce.

“At the same time that Pro­mote Ice­land was be­ing es­tab­lished in 2010, the vol­canic erup­tion in Ey­jaf­jal­la­jökull hap­pened caus­ing a cri­sis for the tourism in­dus­try. So, for the first time the Gov­ern­ment, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the pri­vate sec­tor joined forces with an in­te­grated mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive.

“Since then, the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor has worked un­der the um­brella brand of In­spired by Ice­land for Ice­land as a des­ti­na­tion with Pro­mote Ice­land in charge.”

With a strong fo­cus on pro­mot­ing Ice­land for its nat­u­ral beauty, its econ­omy, its cul­ture and its peo­ple; the key mes­sage that Pro­mote Ice­land has tried to in­stil since then has been sur­round­ing the con­stant de­vel­op­ment and progress in these

Peo­ple from all over the world come to Ice­land to ex­pe­ri­ence the stun­ning beauty of our coun­try, the spe­cific char­ac­ter­is­tics of our cul­ture, and the hos­pi­tal­ity of the lo­cals

ar­eas in or­der to make the coun­try a more whole­some propo­si­tion to lo­cals, tourists and busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives alike.

Sig­urðar­son con­tin­ues: “To­day, tourism is the largest rev­enue­gen­er­at­ing in­dus­try for Ice­land, larger than the fish­ing and alu­minium sec­tor com­bined. When Pro­mote Ice­land started it was the third largest and far be­hind the two oth­ers. Our fo­cus in co­op­er­a­tion with the tourism in­dus­try has been on de­creas­ing sea­son­al­ity and in pro­mot­ing new re­gional des­ti­na­tions in Ice­land.

“This past year we have also put more em­pha­sis on our mar­ket­ing ef­forts, and on ed­u­cat­ing and in­form­ing vis­i­tors - be­fore and dur­ing their stay - about Ice­land´s frag­ile na­ture, re­spon­si­ble travel be­hav­iour, lo­cal cul­ture and Ice­landic pe­cu­liar­i­ties.”

The re­sponse over the past seven years has been ex­actly what Pro­mote Ice­land had hoped for with 95 per­cent of vis­i­tors stat­ing their sat­is­fac­tion from their visit; in­di­cat­ing a more sus­tain­able and year-round make-up to Ice­land’s at­trac­tive­ness.

“To add to this, the Gov­ern­ment and the Ice­landic Travel In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion has joined forces and de­vised a new Road Map for Tourism,” adds Sig­urðar­son. “Launched in Oc­to­ber, 2015, the Road Map pro­vides a long-term tourism strat­egy with an em­pha­sis on sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. The long-term vi­sion is that the tourism in­dus­try will be­come a sus­tain­able and prof­itable sec­tor yield­ing sta­ble for­eign ex­change earn­ings for the econ­omy, and in­creas­ing the pros­per­ity and the qual­ity of life in Ice­land by 2030.

“The top pri­or­ity is to in­vest in prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and the nec­es­sary tourism in­fra­struc­ture to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing num­ber of vis­i­tors. The Tourism Task Force has started sev­eral projects in or­der to sup­port the in­fra­struc­ture; such as im­prov­ing tourist safety, in­creased fund­ing for de­vel­op­ment, main­te­nance and pro­tec­tion of tourist at­trac­tions, im­prov­ing pub­lic toi­let avail­abil­ity, the pro­tec­tion of the Ice­landic na­ture, and more.”

Stud­ies have shown that the vast ma­jor­ity of Ice­landic peo­ple are bought into this strat­egy and are wel­com­ing to­wards tourists look­ing to share their nat­u­ral beauty. And this idea can only be taken one more pos­i­tive step fur­ther for busi­ness trav­ellers; upon the re­al­i­sa­tion that each ‘tourist’ would be bring­ing vi­tal in­come into the coun­try as well.

“Peo­ple from all over the world come to Ice­land to ex­pe­ri­ence the stun­ning beauty of our coun­try, the spe­cific char­ac­ter­is­tics of our cul­ture, and the hos­pi­tal­ity of the lo­cals. We value and re­spect all of these things and have a clear, long-term strat­egy to en­sure that we pro­tect them,” Sig­urðar­son con­cludes.

Vol­canic erup­tion of Ey­jaf­jal­la­jökull in 2010

Det­ti­foss Wa­ter­fall Town of Husavik at sun­set, north coast of Ice­land

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