Breaking Travel News investigates: Vestnorden returns to Iceland | Focus

The travel trade present for Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Vestnorden returned this month for its 36th staging on the Reykjanes peninsular. The party opened to just about 500 visitors in particular person, pursuing a digital showcase in 2020.

Organised by the North Atlantic Tourism Affiliation (NATA), Vestnorden was held at Hljómahöl Tunes & Meeting Centre at the Icelandic Museum of Rock & Roll. Indeed, this sort of a put does exist! The event welcomed exhibitors from vacation firms all over the Nordic location and prospective buyers from all over the entire world. Participants were invited to acquire part in exclusive tours of the locations pre- and put up-celebration so potential buyers experienced the chance to working experience all a few places in man or woman.

Immediately after a tumultuous calendar year for the vacation sector, representatives from the Nordic destinations were being keen to push a sense of optimism and innovation. As Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, head of Take a look at Iceland, points out to Breaking Vacation News: “I think it’s so significant, the collaboration that we have between these international locations we see there’s a large amount of similarities involving us and how we are attempting to current ourselves to the entire world.

“As ‘the interesting north,’ or with sustainability and equality – there are so numerous qualities you want folks to associate with the Nordics.”

Hjörtur Smarason, main govt of Take a look at Greenland, agrees, suggesting multi-prevent trips are a terrific way to explore. He continues: “I consider it’s incredibly, pretty vital that we are combining the 3 nations around the world. There is a large amount of synergy amongst all the islands. They have a good deal of the exact marketplace segments and the similar concentrate on teams – to provide in new brokers from all around the globe that are intrigued in this location makes a great deal of feeling. And listed here you have the option to satisfy individuals in man or woman and get to know them far better, make up the relationship in between a supplier and an agent. And this is just vital for development.“

Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, head of Take a look at Iceland, led discussions as the party returned

The destinations have applied the worries of the past 18-months to thrust forward and arise as leaders and innovators in the industry. As Oddný Arnarsdóttir, liaison for Iceland wellness sector and organiser of Vestnorden, describes: “We shifted our aim. We took time. We dug further. We acknowledged our strengths and also our weaknesses. And by carrying out so, we have created a larger assortment in tourism provider all all over the nation, in all the locations, all over the year.” From new, unique activities, smaller scale, regional, sustainable, bespoke goods – from Michelin-starred places to eat to authentic eating ordeals or living home concerts hosted by locals – the Nordic places supply experiences that are in contrast to something observed everywhere else.”

Sustainability emerged as a crucial concept, with Arnarsdóttir describing environmental impact as “the red thread that runs by way of our operations”.

Guðmundsdóttir elaborates: “We have this for the tourism policy exclusively – but we also have this for all export industries in Iceland – to be main in sustainability. So this is unquestionably anything that the govt is extremely focused on. It was tied into just about every main action to enable. Can we do this in a much more sustainable way? And does this healthy with our general goal, which is about sustainability in 2030? And I assume that is really significant.”

Hjörtur Smarason, chief govt of Stop by Greenland, talked over how the spot was recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic

All 3 regions are acutely knowledgeable of the outcomes of weather transform on their fragile and distinctive ecosystems. Smarason clarifies: “These are quite sensitive environments sensitive environments in which you genuinely will need to feel about the impact of tourism. It is also a necessity since you will not endure for extended as a tourism desired destination if you do not involve sustainability when every thing is so fragile.”

The places proximity to the polar location seriously puts them at the front line of climate transform where the results are obvious – but this element also would seem to create an urgency and innovation in the countries’ responses to these troubles.

Guðrið Højgaard, main govt of Take a look at Faroe Islands explains: “Our manufacturer is our distinctive offering issue, and the truth that whilst extra and extra destinations are getting a lot more and additional alike, our islands remain reliable and exclusive, and we want them to stay so – acquiring sustainably.”

For the duration of the past 18-months, in which Covid-19 brought unprecedented disruptions to the travel marketplace, the Nordic places were being innovative in developing infrastructure whilst also making use of the time to retain the discussions going with their shoppers. They did this by creating effective marketing campaigns, these types of as Enable it all out from Iceland, which acquired world acclaim, and the Faroe Islands’ Distant Tourism, a in depth interactive experience which introduced a fantastic deal of push.

Guðrið Højgaard, chief govt of Pay a visit to Faroe Islands, argued sustainability will have to be central to the operate of the organisation

These clean techniques of approaching tourism in challenging conditions are indicative of the locations of aim at Vestnorden and the providing points of the Nordic location in typical: modern day, ground breaking, inclusive and always with a truly feel for the environmental effects of each individual aspect of the industry. Inspite of chat of overtourism, pre-Covid-19, the places are also fairly undeveloped markets with house for innovation and new items. This is particularly the case for Greenland, which celebrates new transport routes opening up the location for new progress alternatives.

The mood at the trade present was elated as many people ended up travelling for the first time due to the fact Covid-19. All-around 3,400 meetings, tours and activities, an opening get together held at the Blue Lagoon and a raucous closing meal kept the meeting buzzing in the course of. As Guðmundsdóttir places it: “Last yr, we did the to start with at any time digital variation of this, and we experienced 1,300 meetings. But that doesn’t swap the deal with-to-confront, meeting men and women to sit together, communicate, but also informally, to get together…. So that’s also yet another element of why this is so significant. We had been pretty content that we ended up equipped to do in- person.”

It is continue to far too early to see how the business will modify and recuperate as we enter the article-pandemic planet, but feelings are optimistic – with figures raising as just about every current market sector opens up and restrictions start out to lift. One particular pattern seems to be a shift in the direction of for a longer period stays and better spending as consumers find the moment-in-a-lifetime activities and correct escapes from the day to day. Extra to this, as distant functioning turns into the norm, travellers will be eager to access locations for extended stays, with far more significant and in-depth interactions with destinations.

As Guðmundsdóttir concludes: “A large amount of men and women want their journey possibly to imply a lot more, and they’ve been saving up a great deal to get to do far more issues. I believe that is a extremely good development and with any luck , that will carry on. I believe that is a lot more sustainable way too. I believe people today want to get again to normalcy, because I journey is this kind of a joy.”

Extra Information

For far more facts on Vestnorden, head over to the official web-site, or there is more on the North Atlantic Tourism Affiliation below.

Words and phrases and pictures: Sapphire Goss

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