Tourism, like any industry, is defined by it's people. So sitting down for a morning coffee at Kaktus Espresso Bar in #reykjavik with a pair of its leaders was super insightful. Oddný Arnarsdóttir (from the Icelandic Tourist Board, aka @inspiredbyiceland ) and Anna Sverrisdóttir (from Iceland of Health) shed a light on Iceland's #hotsprings #bathingculture . "It means everything! Every time I've lived aboard, it's the hot springs that I've missed. Most people go daily or at least a few times a week. It's a place of reunion with family and friends. You know you're always going to meet someone you know, so the children can play while the adults take a break. The elderly (for whom bathing in public pools is free after they retire) use it for their health.
In Iceland, people don't go to the pub they go to the hot pot. It doesn't matter whether it's raining or snowing." Oddny
Note: there's 94 #geothermal #swimmingpools across Iceland.
With the rise of #wellnesstravel Promote Iceland is still working out how to market their own #wellness brand. Now you have a hot springs spas across the country (@krauma_baths , @fontanaiceland , @myvatnnaturebaths , @geoseaiceland and of course @bluelagoonis are a few examples. Then you have others like @vokbaths on the way) It's clear that #hotsprings will be at the centre of its USP, mixed with being in #icelandicnature , breathing fresh #icelandicair and drinking pure #icelandicwater .
Then you have @inspiredbyiceland and their entertaining and accessible storytelling around #responsibletravel . Oddly explains, "early on we took the stand that it would have to be fun so that people would remember it." How do you measure the success of the #icelandicpledge ? "all Icelandic companies are celebrating it with you". With the Icelandic government boldly declaring that by 2030 you will not be able to sell diesel or petrol cars anymore, you get the feeling that a new #regenerative #economy is emerging. Ironically, this may only have been made possible, or at least accelerated, by the unprecedented boom sparked by the #gfc Wellness tourism infrastructure still isn't quite ready, nevertheless #iceland remains a travel destination to watch. - 3 days ago