Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gossips in HoT PoTs

Recently, I‘ve been asked to cooperate on very interesting tourism projects and I would like to share some thoughts here.

Eventhough tourism is rather young industry in Iceland, it‘s been developing really dynamically for the past few years. I‘ve been privileged to watch its development in the Northern part of it and was even contracted to co-organize one very big conference, at the end of February.

One of the crucial parts of the conference was a workshop, where using a special research methodology of focus groups, future image of North Iceland was being explored. Around 100 people took part at the workshop and thus we could gather very precious opinions and thoughts and visions of those representing various tourism fields and institutions.

The outcomes are still being worked on, as I write, but already now, it‘s rather obvious that majority of the participants is calling for strengthening mutual cooperation so that they are stronger once promoting the desired image agreed upon. This is a great sign of moving forward, as recognizing the need for cooperation and also being able to act in a way which makes providers stronger together, is an important first step.

I‘ll keep you posted here and let you know once the workshop conclusions will be made public, in the meantime you might find interesting to read impressions of North Iceland of one of the main speakers at the conference Simon Calder.

On top of this, I‘ve also checked out an ongoing exhibition in Reykjavík. It‘s called Travel without destination and is throwing fresh and somewhat different perspective of looking at tourism industry and understanding of travellers and destinations.

If you have been asking yourself: Why do people travel? What do they bring with them (in their minds) and what do they leave at the place of visit? How do promoted images of destinations influence us as travellers? And so on and so forth, you might definitely find the exhibition inispiring and horizons widening. And eventhough you haven‘t pondered over the questions above, you still might find the exhibtion worthwhile. Click here for details.

And now, to our March theme which has been „activities one can enjoy in Iceland out of the peak season.“

Last time we covered horseback-riding and today I‘ll shed a bit more light swimming pools in Iceland. It‘s a really special phenomenon and is deeply rooted in the culture of Icelanders. Thus if you‘re up for getting to know that part Icelandic culture, it‘s a must to try out at least one local swimming pool or a natural hot pot, once visiting Iceland.

WHY a special phenomenon?
1, Iceland is full of contrasts and eventhough the weather can be really harsh and long winters sometimes seem endless, we have natural sources of geothermal energy on the island, which have enabled Icelanders build many outdoor swimming pools and hot pots. Not to mention that natural hot pots scattered all over the country are another attractive magnet to indulge.

2, Swimming pools are cheap, concerning the service one gets in return and represent a socializing place for Icelanders.

This means that both, in Reykjavík and also in every small settlement you‘re able to find a swimming pool. Most of them are outdoors with pleasantly warm water in pools and with hot water in hot pots. So, not only can you enjoy swimming all year round (reardless of weather outside), but also simply dip yourself in a hot pot and chat with locals, getting to know local gossips.
In the next article, I‘ll post the list of pools available in Ejafjordur and article after that will be about natural hot pots.
Me off for a swim now and I look fwd to hearing your stories and latest gossips.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. I've just found your blog. I travelled to Akureyri and Olafsfjordur in 2009 and hope to go back again this year. Since then, I bought a house in the Westfjords, which for the moment I use as a holiday home, and have been writing a blog in quite a similar style to you. I just put a post up about my experiences in Eyjafjordur, and linked to your blog.