Ávarp á Vestnorden ferðakaupstefnunni 2. október 2018

Ásthildur ávarpar gesti kaupstefnunnar í Hofi.
Ásthildur ávarpar gesti kaupstefnunnar í Hofi.

Dear guests, welcome to Akureyri, the capital of the North.

It´s a great honor to be with you here tonight and hopefully you´ve had fruitful meetings which have created friendship and new business opportunities. I´ve participated two times in Vestnorden and I know that this scene has a great purpose. I do remember when I participated in the Faroe Islands some years ago and we had a bad weather and had to stay a little longer... I woke up and looked out the window to see the landscape but outside looking into my window was a sheep and I don´t know who was more surprised – me or the sheep when we looked into each others blue eyes!

This is the third time in this century that Vestnorden is being held in Akureyri, and I'm told that there are more participants now than in 2010, the year when this beautiful house Hof Cultural Center was opened. It is very important that a big event like this, where partners in tourism come together, also occur outside of Reykjavík capital area. We all know that there are plenty of beautiful places around the country, which are worth visiting, even though they are out of radius Reykjavík Capital.

The municipalities are one of the largest tourism recipients, by providing and funding basic services and infrastructure and that has been done here in Akureyri. We have in recent years invested in destinations in the municipality which are attractions both for the inhabitants and tourists such as the Akureyri Art Museum, the Akureyri swimming pool, Mountain Hlíðarfjall is getting a bigger role over the whole year and the artwork Orbis et Globus or Circle and Sphere in Grímsey Island. The entertainment is getting more and more diverse and the whale watching scene has been growing constantly here in the fjord of Eyjafjordur – the whales simply love it here!

Transport is a big issue for us up here in North Iceland, both concerning flight and cars. Our dream and what we have last couple of years fought for, is a direct international flight from Akureyri and out to the big world. This has not been and still is not an easy fight and I would like to thank Super Break for their great cooperation with us and for their courage to bet on us.

And finally; You definitely notice the red hearts in the traffic lights – here outside this building. The VisitAkureyri crew has made this really cool selfie place where you can make a photo with a heart and the beautiful Akureyri church in the background... make a selfie, use the hashtag #heartsofakureyri and help us to promote our beautiful warm town of Akureyri.

Have fun tonight and good luck with your business. Akureyri and North Iceland welcome you and your tourists.