The President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, today kick started a new tourism campaign by making a speech in which he openly invited tourists into his own home and encouraged other Icelandic citizens to do the same.
Grimsson, who will be inviting tourists for pancakes, whipped cream and rhubarb jam, is joined by other officials including the Mayor of Reykjavik and the Minister for Tourism, who will also be inviting people into their homes.
The aim of the historic move is to kick start a campaign for visitors to experience the real Iceland. The initiative is a continuation of the award-winning Inspired by Iceland campaign that turned around the country’s tourism industry following the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010.
Katrin Juliusdottir, Iceland’s Minister of Tourism, explained, “We want visitors to our country to become Icelanders, to ‘be Icelandic’. The ash cloud caused by the Eyjafjallajokull eruption last year made us think really hard about what coming to Iceland meant.”
Juliusdottir continued, “We realised it is about the passion that our citizens have for our country and that they want to tell the world how beautiful it is and what an amazing experience it can be. Those thinking of visiting Iceland and wanting a real adventure will love what our people have to offer as they share their lives with them.”
Many citizens have already volunteered to open their doors to welcome visitors with open arms and the Icelandic Government expects many more to get involved.
Icelanders will be able to extend invitations to the world through www.inspiredbyiceland.com, offering many different kinds of experiences and adventures to guests of their country. Visitors will be able to browse the invitations and plan their visit.