First Minister Hails Iceland Agreement

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today announce an historic formal agreement between VisitScotland and the Icelandic Tourist Board, which will see the two organisations sharing information and best practice on areas such as quality development, information provision and sustainability.

Speaking at a reception in Reykjavik as part of the Arctic Circle Assembly 2016, the First Minister will today tell delegates that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will enhance both organisations and their objectives.

The MoU will explore how the two small nations can maximise the economic impact of tourism in a way that is sustainable for future generations. It will also consider how best to provide information and inspiration to tomorrow’s visitors.

It follows similar agreements between VisitScotland and the official tourism organisations in Sweden, Flanders and Nova Scotia.

The MoU is a commitment to collaboration that will also focus on the following key areas:

  • Tourism development and long-term sustainability
  • Quality development
  • The future of visitor information provision
  • Digital
  • Regulatory and legal frameworks
  • Film tourism
  • Research

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland and Iceland are world renowned tourist destinations and we share a common interest in developing a sustainable tourism sector that continues to excite and attract visitors. New direct air routes between our two nations started earlier this year so it’s a fitting time for VisitScotland and the Icelandic Tourist Board to deepen their collaboration, learn more from each other and enhance the tourist experience in both of our countries in the coming years.”

Ms Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, Iceland’s Minister of Industry and Innovation, said: “I am very pleased with this agreement. Iceland and Scotland are neighbouring countries and good allies and all co-operation between us has been excellent. It is important at all given times to look to those who perform among the best and in this case there was no need to look far – as the Scots are at the forefront in many fields of tourism and we can learn a lot from them. And hopefully they from us as well.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Both Scotland and Iceland are small countries that punch well above their weight on the global stage. Tourism is a key driver of the economies in Scotland and Iceland, with the industry providing a lifeline for our nations during difficult times. VisitScotland and the Icelandic Tourist Board have built a strong and mutually beneficial relationship over the past three years, and it’s exciting to take this to the next level with the signing of this agreement.”

Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, Chief Executiveof Icelandic Tourist Board, said: “Icelandic tourism has been going through enormous growth in the past years. Such growth inevitably brings with it new challenges that need to be addressed. Scottish tourism and VisitScotland have a multitude of experiences that we at the Icelandic Tourist Board have been able to learn from, and we believe that the signing of this agreement will benefit both countries in years to come. We very much look forward to our future co-operation within a vibrant and flourishing industry.”

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