Visit Iceland! Please. Really, It's Safe Now. : Blog Of The Nation The volcano has stopped spewing, but tourism hasn't picked up in Iceland. A new campaign hopes to change all of that, through song, dance, and stories.
NPR logo Visit Iceland! Please. Really, It's Safe Now.

Visit Iceland! Please. Really, It's Safe Now.


Yesterday, I spent a bit of time talking about the campaign to end the "smelly" comments in reference to my home state. But today, my focus is shifting toward a foreign land trying to keep its own reputation afloat: Iceland.

Remember that volcano that erupted in April -- the one that stopped air travel for a while -- Eyjafjallajokull? If you still can't pronounce it, no worries -- you can still travel there. Yes, it's safe now, no more ash clouds. Flights are running smoothly and plane, hotel and car rates are fairly reasonable in comparison to elsewhere. But tourism is down in Iceland. Honestly, I didn't even stop to think about how much the eruption would affect the country, moreso planes flying all over the world. So, in an effort to attract visitors to the country, the Icelandic government created a campaign called Inspired by Iceland. Cheap Flights says that:

Katrin Juliusdottir, Minister of Industry of Iceland, beckons travelers and says, "We believe Iceland is a country that can inspire everyone who comes here.  The stunning geography and wonderful scenery, the warmth and kindness of the people, the unique culture and accessibility of Iceland all go towards making our country a great place to visit -- we want the world to know that."

What started as a collection of stories from 320,000 Icelanders urging travelers to come experience the country for themselves has turned into an innovative campaign to jumpstart summer tourism. Icelandic-based artists such as Yoko Ono and Bjork have lended a hand as well to the effort. And if that wasn't enough, there's a huge concert taking place in a matter of days right near the "quiet" volcano. All I will say is that if a local can get me to dance that close to a geyser (just like in the video), I'm buying my tickets today.