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Questions are being asked about the wisdom of a massive advertising promotion launched by the Department of Tourism to attract visitors from Iceland.
Iceland’s capital Reykjavík 07.11.2009
- The row followed the sending of one hundred Canarian ‘Ambassadors’ on a costly one-week trip to Iceland to sell the Canaries as a destination to beat the winter blues. Participants admitted some of the events prepared to showcase the Canaries were ill-planned and attracted little interest. One unnamed ambassador was quoted in a Canarian daily as saying that “there is no-one on the streets to see us do our thing, it is far too cold. This is disastrous”.
The tourism authorities hope that the presence of the cheerful Canarians, dressed in bright orange t-shirts throughout their stay, will have a multiplier effect and persuade many Icelanders to book holidays here. It is believed some early takers will be given free trips as ‘pathfinders’ to encourage other compatriots to follow suit. However, with a population of just 300,000 (slightly more than Santa Cruz and much smaller than Las Palmas) and an economy in the doldrums after the collapse of several banks, experts query the choice of country to pioneer the ambassador programme, which is costing the Canarian government seven million euros.
This article appears in the print edition 603 of Island Connections
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