Post-GFC economic woes and Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruptions saw Iceland suffer a drop in tourist numbers of around 22 per cent, or about 100,000 visitors.
With the help of a quirky, yet stunningly filmed video campaign Iceland Tourism turned to social media to help the country kick start its 2010 summer tourism campaign.
Social media was used to funnel traffic to the video on the Inspired by Iceland. Unlike many national tourism campaigns that are rarely seen in the promoted country, the people of Iceland were encouraged to get behind it and to use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spread the word – in effect being viral marketers.
The campaign also features a separate series of videos featuring international celebrities including Viggo Mortensen, David Byrne, Stephen Fry Yoko Ono and Dame Kiri de Kanawa talking about their personal Iceland experience, which are posted on the Inspired to Iceland site and Vimeo. Visitors to the former are also invited to relay their own experiences and share the video, wallpaper and e-cards via email.
It’s too early to tell what kind of impact the campaign has. However, since its launch in June 2010 Iceland has been named top travel destination by Lonely Planet, USA Today and CNN’s travel website CNNGO.