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October 2010 Conference+Meetings World 19DESTINATION REPORTnew marketing campaign 'Inspired byIceland' designed to encourage people totravel to the country. "The goal," said the IC&IB's AnnaValdimarsdóttir, "was to decrease thenegative effects of the eruptions onIceland's trustworthy tourism industry, anindustry that had taken years to build up.The targets were established in WesternEurope and North America, as opposed torising markets such as East Europe andAsia. Another important goal was tomaintain current business when it was quiteobvious that an increased market share wasout of the question. "The campaign was also intended toenhance Iceland's image by takingadvantage of the huge media attention ithad gained internationally, both through thevolcanic eruption and also through thefinancial crisis that occurred in an extremeform in Iceland in 2008."The campaign had a clear effect.According to the Icelandic Tourist Board,there were 2.5 per cent fewer tourist arrivalsto Iceland from January to August 2010than the year before (a total of 344,276,compared to 353,110 in 2009). Consideringthe number of cancellations at thebeginning of the eruption, the situation hasturned around from a scenario that theauthorities feared at one point could lead toa drop of 20-40 per cent. Latest figures from the IC&IB put the totalloss of meeting industry business in Icelandat about seven per cent of its confirmedbookings for 2010. "Considering the chaosand panic that followed the eruption, this isbetter than we anticipated," saidValdimarsdóttir. Affordable NatureThe country is still giving out the message ofthe unspoiled, wild, natural environmentYou don't need laser shows when the Northern Lights, a time for festivals, sparkle in the sky An event room with a viewand sense of adventure, with its natural spasand springs, including the world-renownedBlue Lagoon. There is a list of activities for incentivesIC&IB's top 10 meeting and eventvenues. Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. Grand Hotel Reykjavik . Radisson Blue Saga Hotel. Nordic House. Videy Island. Reykjavik Art Gallery. Blue Lagoon/Lava restaurant. Hof in Akureyri. Asmundarsafn art gallery. On top of a glacier!Reykjavík supports internationalconferences via its Welcome Card -Special Offer for delegates.The card offers free admission to all ofReykjavik's thermal pools, manymuseums and attractions; unlimitedtravel on the Reykjavík buses, as well asdiscounts at shops and restaurants andfree internet access. The discounts start at 30 per cent forthe 24 hour card, increasing to 40 percent for 48 hours and a 72 hour cardbrings a 50 per cent discount. ????