Recovery in sight, Iceland Tourism mounts roadshow in India

Visit Iceland and the Embassy of Iceland to target dynamic Indian market
/ New Delhi
Recovery in sight, Iceland Tourism mounts roadshow in India

A delegation of Visit Iceland at a press meet hosted by the Iceland Embassy in New Delhi (Photo: IO)

Encouraged by a strong recovery in the Indian market, a delegation of Visit Iceland, along with travel agents and IcelandAir, visited India, meeting leading travel agents in order to boost tourist numbers from the market.
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Keen to tap the vast potential of the Indian market, a tourism delegation from Iceland recently held its first roadshow in India after a gap of over two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The delegation, comprising Thorleifur Thor Jonsson, Senior Area Manager for Asia, CEE & Nordics of Visit Iceland, as well as leading travel agents like Erling Aspelund and Mrs Kristin Bjondotti, owners at Iceland Encounter and Bjarni Hrafn Ingólfsson Managing Director at Terra Nova were part of the delegation, along with Arsenal Hardarsons, regional manager at GSA Asia, Middle East & South America at IcelandAir.

A  recent survey has revealed a 34 pc growth in the number of Indians travelling to Iceland, says a press release. Tourism is the strongest bond between India and Iceland and thus in the last four years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of Indian tourists wanting to visit Iceland, it adds.

Ambassador of Iceland to India, Gudni Bragson says he is hoping for a swift revival of tourism in India, the very first Asian country that opened its markets after Covid-19. Bragson adds that the potential is immense, going by the pre-pandemic numbers, when the growth in the Indian market had been very encouraging as the number of Indians who visited Iceland grew from 10,944 to 19,852 in the period 2017-2019. Though the number of travellers crashed in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic, Jonsson of Visit Iceland says that the update this year has been extremely positive with almost 7000 Indian travellers having visited Iceland in first six months of the year and is sure to exceed the pre-pandemic numbers in 2023.

Jonsson adds that an outbound traveller has a lot to experience in Iceland such as its glowing glaciers, Northern Lights and geothermally heated pools. Moreover, Iceland’s food will suit the tastes of the Indian palate, he says.

Ambassador Bragson says that by conducting road shows, the country aims to promote itself and conduct business with local travel agencies across India.

The roadshow and press meet was organised Vineet Gopal, Director of Representation World who sees a tremendous potential for growth in numbers to Iceland and adds that Representation World will be assisting Visit Iceland in organising events across India. “We are a small group this time but hopefully, we can return with a larger group soon,” confirms Johnsson of Visit Iceland.

Though currently visa is a challenge for Indian travellers to Iceland, as with other European and Schengen countries, the Iceland Embassy says it is taking urgent steps to resolve the problem. “We received a high number of Iceland visa applications and I understand and appreciate the importance of Indian tourism and we are working hard to resolve this,” says Kristín Anna Tryggvadóttir, Deputy Head of Mission.

“At the Embassy it is our constant endeavour to promote Iceland as an exotic tourist destination for Indian travellers,” says Deepika Sachdev, Advisor for Tourism, Culture & Public Diplomacy, Embassy of Iceland.

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