Before I visited Iceland, I was fairly sceptical of their event’s industry, as can probably be gathered from my previous posts. Post-trip, I unfortunately can’t say that my opinions have changed drastically.
During my visit, my group actively tried to uncover any hidden gems of events that were not visible on the world wide web, but in real life, we still struggled to locate many exhilarating event offerings. This came as a surpirse to me, as they actually have fantastic infrastructutre to cope with large scale, impressive events. On day 3 we visited the Harpa Conference Hall, which was a truley breath-taking, state of the art event venue. Yet dissappointingly, we could only locate a few gimicky theatre productions.
We did however discover that the main type of events that seem to take place in Iceland are festivals, spread out over a matter of days and in various locations across the country. These include Reykjavik Folk Festival, Food and Fun Festival, Stickfish Film Festival and Reykjavik Fashion Festival. These are tourism management stratergies to try and encourage visiors at times of year when demand is low (Promote Iceland, 2017). However, I am sceptical of their success and I am struggling to locate any published figures that prove my opinions to be wrong.
“The sparse Icelandic population has always enjoyed a gathering of good people. All-year round, you will find creative festivals dedicated to music, film and fashion. During summer, town festivals attract large groups of people around the country, dominating the event calendar. With abundant daylight hours during summer, and the long after hours of winter, nothing beats a good festival in Iceland.”
(Visit Iceland, 2017)
Although I am underwhelmed by Iceland’s event offerings, I completely understand why they may not focus their attention on events. They simply have more natural events that they can exploit that draws in enough tourism on their own. Why would they bother?!
Visit Iceland. (2017). ‘Festivals in Iceland’. Available at: http://www.visiticeland.com/things-to-do/culture/festivals/. Accessed 28th March 2017.