Visit Iceland looks to revive fortunes in Indian market

After experiencing a steady growth in tourist arrivals from India in pre-Covid years, Visit Iceland is once again ready to enhance its visibility in the country.

To tap the burgeoning Indian outbound tourism market, Visit Iceland recently hosted a roadshow in Mumbai, as well as a media conference and networking evening in New Delhi.

Jonsson: 15,000 Indian tourists expected by the end of 2022

Thorleifur Thor Jonsson, senior area manager, Asia, CEE and Nordics, Visit Iceland said: “At present, we are working closely with major travel companies like Thomas Cook, Veena World and MakeMyTrip who have a presence pan India to promote Iceland as a tourist destination.

“We are looking to tap FITs and group travellers who are well travelled and are looking to explore a new niche destination. We also see a lot of opportunity in promoting Iceland as a MICE destination in India.”

Apart from reaching out to the Indian market through travel agents, the tourism board is creating awareness about its various tourism products and experiences through digital marketing and motion pictures.

Jonsson shared that they are in discussion with major production houses in India to promote Iceland for film shoots, and will offer a refund of 35 per cent of production cost for film and television shoots if certain criteria are met.

The criteria include the minimum production spend to be approximately US$2.66 million; creates at least 50 local jobs for Icelanders; and the production must last for at least 30 working days in Iceland.

In 2019, 19,852 Indians visited Iceland, which was a steady increase from 10,944 in 2017. However, these numbers came down drastically due to the pandemic breakout.

He said: “We expect to welcome 15,000 Indian tourists by the end of 2022 and are targeting 25,000 visitors from India in 2023.”

Apart from its already popular products like Northern Lights and glaciers, Visit Iceland is looking to promote its wellness experiences like spas and sighting of volcano eruptions in India.

Apart from Jonsson, participants at the roadshow included Arsaell Hardarson, regional manager, GSA Asia, Middle East & South America, Icelandair; Kristín Björnsdóttir and Erling Aspelund, owners, Iceland Encounter; and Bjarni Hrafn Ingólfsson, managing director, Terra Nova.

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