Iceland Hopes to Become “Hot” Conference Destination Skip to content

Iceland Hopes to Become “Hot” Conference Destination

Iceland plans to offer an interesting alternative on the international conference market with Harpa, the new conference and concert center currently under construction at the Reykjavík harbor, designed by the world-renowned artist Ólafur Elíasson.

This is what the concert and conference center will look like once completed.

Iceland has become increasingly popular as a destination for conferences in the past years offering exciting experiences to conference guests including the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, hot springs and waterfalls, snowmobiling on glaciers, super-jeep tours, horseback riding and a variety of other activities, a press release states.

Despite the global travel market being in a recession, Iceland saw a 0.7 percent increase in foreign visitors in 2009 compared to the previous year and last month a 9.5 percent increase compared to March 2009.

Iceland has been relying increasingly on the tourist industry after the economic collapse in 2008 for much-needed foreign currency, and is hoping for a boost in international conferences with the new state-of-the-art conference center.

With an international airport that was chosen Europe’s best in 2009, Iceland has become an exciting option on the international conference scene with good infrastructure and competitive prices.

Ólafur Elíasson, the artist behind the waterfalls in New York, the “Sun” in Tate Museum and the hydrogen-driven BMW that was built of ice, has teamed up with Henning Larsen architects in Denmark to create an architectural masterpiece by Reykjavík harbor.

Harpa, the Reykjavík Conference and Concert Center, is now under construction and will open its doors to guests in spring 2011. Bookings are already taking place.

Harpa will have very flexible facilities and the best possible technological equipment. The concert hall is the largest of the three main halls, all of which are on the second level. There are two additional meeting halls on first level, along with eight smaller meeting rooms on the first level and on the fourth level.

A large entrance hall on the first and second level can house exhibitions, receptions and banquets. The building contains a first-class kitchen, a restaurant, a viewing balcony with a bar and a coffee bar on the ground floor. Harpa will be home to both the Icelandic Symphonic Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera.

One of the conferences already booked is the European Orthodontic Society’s Congress 2013. Kristín Heimisdóttir, Chair of the Icelandic Orthodontic Society, addressed guests at a recent reception in Harpa.

She especially praised the foresight and determination of those who battled for the completion of construction of the Harpa Concert and Conference Centre. “Despite the economic collapse, there was great interest in holding the Congress here in Iceland, and we decided to give it a go.”

Official website: http://www.harpa.is

Click here to read more about the concert and conference center.

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