Warm hearts, Cold feet

From the many countries in which I have visited in my lifetime, never have I met a nation of more welcoming and inspiring people who embrace their culture in such a delightful way. Icelanders are truley unique and their way of life is in some respects idyllic. They are so proud to be Icelandic and why wouldn’t you be. It goes as no surprise that 40% of their tourists visit to experience the culture and history (Promote Iceland, 2013).

Everyone I met seemed to know so much about their heritage and be able to recite numerous stories from the famous Icelandic Sagas. This tradion lives on in modern Iceland with the most published authors per capita than in any other country in the world (Iceland.is, 2017). Actually, their culture encourages them to continually develop new skills throughout their lifetime in a non-judgmental society, so an author may also be the local doctor, artist and musician!

They go out of their way to make tourists feel at home and even reccomend the best places to go and encourage you to participate in tradional Icelandic activities, such as socialising in a heated pool in the evenings!

Their attitude towards tourists is amazingly welcoming, despite how much they have invaded their once virtually untouched country. But maybe this is counteracted by the appreciation of the financial income that tourists are bringing to their economy. As discussed in previous posts, tourism has played a huge part in rebuilding a once collapsed and unstable economy, providing more jobs and more wealth. Our tour guide explained to us that local communities are thriving with the tourism boom, with more hotels, restaurants and shops opening to meet the tourism demands. It is arguably likely that this is appreciated and respected by locals.

The attitudes of the local communities deffinitely helped to shape the success of my visit and from my view is one of Iceland’s most appealing qualities.

Iceland.is. (2017). ‘People and Society’. Available at: http://www.iceland.is/the-big-picture/people-society. Accessed 28th March 2017.

Promote Iceland. (2013). ‘Final Long Term Strategy for Icelandic Tourism Industry’. Available at: http://www.islandsstofa.is/files/final-long-term-strategy-for-icelandic-tourism-industry-270213kh.pdf. Accessed 29th March 2017.

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