Reykjanes Eruption Marketed to Foreign Tourists Skip to content
Tourists catch a selfie by the edge of the new lava flowing from the crater in Geldingadalur on the Reykjanes peninsula
Photo: Golli. Tourists catch a selfie by the edge of the new lava flowing from the crater in Geldingadalur on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Reykjanes Eruption Marketed to Foreign Tourists

Business Iceland (Íslandsstofa) has begun creating a marketing campaign to attract foreign tourists to the ongoing eruption in Geldingadalir, Southwest Iceland, RÚV reports. Over 40,000 have visited the eruption site since the Icelandic Tourist Board began tallying visitors on March 24, five days after the eruption began. The site is expected to become even more popular once border restrictions are relaxed – whether or not it remains active.

Shortly after the eruption began on March 19, Business Iceland began working on a marketing campaign to attract foreign visitors to the site. According to their data, the Geldingadalir eruption has been featured in some 11,000 articles in foreign media outlets. “Yes, it attracts a lot of attention and we see that,” stated Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, a program director at Business Iceland. “We also see that there is a lot of visual footage of the eruption on social media and the web. That’s also helping to spread the word, so to speak. We have a live stream on our website Visit Iceland for example and we see a lot of traffic there.”

Great Opportunity and Great Responsibility

Indeed, Business Iceland’s campaign aims to leverage social media to attract tourist to the eruption. It includes a partnership with American photographer Chris Burkard, who has already shared photos and videos of the eruption with his 3.6 million followers on Instagram.

 

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“This could naturally become one of the coolest destinations in Iceland. And it’s also very interesting to see it being created within the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark, which has the role of using the area’s geology to create value. So there are enormous opportunities in this,” Sigríður stated. “But at the same time, there’s a responsibility in marketing an event such as an eruption, and it’s really important to have responsible tourism there.”

Read More: Infrastructure Needed at Eruption Site

According to Sigríður, work to build infrastructure in the area has already begun. She says the eruption could become a feature of overall marketing campaigns for Iceland as a destination. “This new destination will definitely be one of the ones we will focus on when we see travel start up again.”

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