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The Skift team went to Iceland during the tail end of the low season to get an on-the-ground perspective of what the country offers tourists in relation to its regional competition.
We learned first-hand from Promote Iceland/Islandsstofa that travel surpassed their fishing industry only four short years after the disruptive actions of eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2009.
In response, 2010 was the first time that Iceland’s government, businesses, and citizens collaborated on a joint digital promotion effort. According to Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director, Tourism and Creative Industries at Promote Iceland, the message was “Iceland is not for everybody, but are for people who have the spirit of adventure, exploration and creativity.”
A large part of Inspired by Iceland‘s outreach is through social media, so we wanted to look at how it stacks up against its regional rivals on Twitter.
Visit Greenland, Visit Sweden, Visit Norway US, Visit Denmark, and Visit Finland have also turned to social media to target American and British travelers. For the most part, these five countries offer midnight sun during peak seasons, northern lights during off-peak, glacier hikes, and marine wildlife excursions. Nature and adventure travel reign in these near-Arctic locations.
All six tourism boards have active accounts in English, sometimes in addition to each country’s native language (Sweden also has its much-copied country-branding account Sweden). According to Beevolve’s 2012 study, 50.99% of these countries’ tourism boards’ Twitter followers are from U.S. and 17.09% are from UK.
Nordic nations’ friend-making skills vary greatly. Bringing up the rear is Greenland, which manages to rank below Visit Lithuania, among others, while Denmark is the only nation to rank in the top 100 destinations overall.
See graphs below for more details.
Visit Greenland’s Twitter Follower Growth
Visit Sweden’s Twitter Follower Growth
Visit Norway’s Twitter Follower Growth
Inspired by Iceland’s Twitter Follower Growth
Visit Denmark’s Twitter Follower Growth