Tourism: Iceland opens doors to the 'enlightened'

In April 2010, the eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull threatened a projected 22 per cent decline in visitor numbers. The country launched an Inspired by Iceland campaign, which changed global perceptions and led to a 27 per cent increase in tourism. After creating the campaign in 2010, The Brooklyn Brothers was asked to repeat the campaign in 2011.

Inspired by Iceland: tourism campaign
Inspired by Iceland: tourism campaign

Campaign: Inspired by Iceland 2011
Client: Promote Iceland
PR team: The Brooklyn Brothers
Timescale: October-December 2011
Budget: £98,000



  • To increase tourism to Iceland.

Strategy and plan

The strategy was to create a new 'not for everyone' experience targeting the 'enlightened tourist'. To attract these tourists, Icelanders were encouraged to open the doors of their own homes and invite tourists in for a unique Icelandic experience.

President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson started the campaign with an address to the nation in which he pledged his own invite and urged fellow citizens to do the same. Invites could be pledged on the Inspired by Iceland website.

The unique experience angle created talkability so that the messages could be spread quickly across the globe to influence other tourists.

Measurement and evaluation

Media that covered the Iceland campaign included CNN, CNBC, BBC Worldwide, Radio 4, LA Times, Huffington Post, The Times, The Sunday Times and the Metro in France.


Tourism increased by 16.85 per cent in winter 2011, compared with winter 2010.

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