Iceland is asking visitors to be more mindful of the impact of their travel by taking The Icelandic Pledge as the tourist board focuses on showcasing the country as a year-round destination.
In taking the pledge, visitors promise to be responsible tourists who explore new places, but leave them as they found them. They also promise to be prepared for all adventures – of which Iceland has many.
Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, director of Visit Iceland, said that year-round sustainable travel is in focus as the organisation promotes its health and wellness offerings and the attractions in all seven regions of Iceland. It’s also seeking to attract tourists out of season, from September to May.
“One of our strengths is health and wellness,” said Pálsdóttir. “We have new spas opening up all around Iceland, not to include the geothermal pools – there are around 170 of these. Wellness is a very large part of travel here, alongside adventure – going to the glaciers or the geysers and seeing all the nature. This is the biggest attraction of iceland, but the culture and wellness is also a big part”
Visit Iceland is targeting what it calls the “affluent traveller” from the UK. “We don’t look at numbers anymore,” said Pálsdóttir. “We look at how long people are staying, how long they’re travelling, how much they’re spending – that’s our core…We don’t look at the big numbers anymore because that’s not telling the whole story. And the UK is a very valuable market for Iceland – it’s easy to get there, you have a lot of options and flights, you can do a weekend or a long trip. There’s a lot to choose from.”