The Iceland Hour

Iceland turns to Facebook to regain lost visitors.
After the chaos caused by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano it is not wonder that Iceland’s tourism industry is in need of a boost. Tourism chiefs have turned to an unusual source to help them regain the visitor numbers that they experienced before the events of the last month, the social network site Facebook. A promotional campaign, set up by the Icelandic government has called on Iceland’s residents to take to the site and show that the country is ‘open for business’.
The campaign ‘The Iceland Hour’ took place between 1pm and 2pm on the 3rd June and encouraged all Icelanders to log into the social networking site to send messages to friends across the globe encouraging them to visit the country. Locals were asked to describe one thing that they loved most of all about the country in a bid to bring the visitor numbers back up to their previous levels. The campaign had the backing of many famous Icelandic celebrities; Yoko Ono gave the initiative a boost by urging people to back the campaign via her Twitter account.
Recent tourism figures have shown that the number of visitors arriving in the country has fallen drastically since the eruption. Although the majority of the decline is due to airport closure, experts have predicted that the negative coverage during the crisis has caused many visitors to turn their backs on the country.
Tourism Minister Katrin Júlíusdóttir stated that ‘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.’

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