Following the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in April 2010, the visitor numbers to Iceland dropped significantly. Due to this, a tourism campaign entitled Inspired by Iceland was launched, aiming to boost the positive image of the country thereby encouraging people to visit again.
Inspired by Iceland’s main focus was, and still is to showcase Iceland’s many unique and appealing attributes by allowing individuals to share their stories and memories of the country. In addition to this, Inspired by Iceland has also organised and held many events across the country and online, showcasing Iceland’s culture and natural beauty.
In June 2010, the Inspired by Iceland campaign was kick started with such an event. ‘Iceland Hour’ involved the whole nation of Iceland for one hour to welcome and encouraging the world to experience Iceland themselves with online messages. Over 1 million messages and e-cards were sent and the Inspired by Iceland promotional video was downloaded over 1 million times that same day. Tweets reached over 5 million people on the same occasion.
Another significant accomplishment was the ‘Iceland Inspires’ concert, which took place in downtown Reykjavik on 1st July 2010. The open-air concert, which featured Damien Rice, was streamed live over the Internet, giving viewers the chance to watch the event from anywhere in the world. The concert proved to be a huge success with over ninety thousand visits from fifty-two countries tuning in through Inspired by Iceland’s website.
Due to Inspired by Iceland’s success, the tourism campaign has got some acknowledgments, won the ICCA Awards 2010, nominated to the Global Effie Awards in June this year and as well as being nominated for two awards at the European Excellence Awards.
An increase in positive attention from global media pays tribute to Inspired by Iceland’s success. For example, shortly following the launch of the campaign, the American publication USA TODAY voted Iceland as a top travel destination for 2011, and Lonely Planet listed Iceland’s Westfjords as one of its ‘Top 10 regions to travel for 2011’. In addition, CNN’s travel website, CNNGO featured Reykjavik as the top holiday destination for Christmas 2010.
Following all the success and positive attention, the Icelandic nation doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and with this, the Inspired by Iceland campaign continues to grow. With the recent opening of HARPA, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, and the numerous cultural events set to take place throughout the summer months, 2011 looks set to be another prosperous year for Iceland tourism.