Iceland: attracting the Chinese tourism RMB

Iceland: attracting the Chinese tourism RMB

Iceland has one of the most beautiful landscapes to offer to tourists all over the world and is therefore self-explanatory why it has become one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.

As of 2015, Iceland welcomes almost 1.3 million tourists from all over the world annually. Compared to its 340,000 population (2015 est), is certainly amazing. Tourism revenue accounts for about one quarter of Iceland’s GDP.

China's strong economic growth in recent decades and gradual increase in purchasing power of Chinese tourists is a potential market for the longer term. Even though the number of Chinese tourists travelling abroad has increased over the years, a very small proportion of Chinese outbound tourists visited Iceland for vacation. Reasons include the relatively low awareness of Chinese tourists about Iceland as well as other cross-cultural issues gleened from the findings. 

This study has shown the following:

a) Potential in Chinese market. The number of Chinese outbound tourists increased by 200% and total spending by Chinese tourists increased by 300% to US$109.8 billion over the 10 year period from 2006-2016;

b) Chinese outbound travellers holiday seasons coincide with Iceland’s off-peak holiday season thereby making Chinese visitors attractive target market as they supplement Iceland’s tourism revenue during off-peak seasons and maximises the capacities of tourist products and service offerings;

c) Currently the two identified groups of Chinese outbound tourists to Iceland are the Detailed-Focus Travellers and the Bold Explorer travellers. The recommended potential target group of Chinese outbound travellers to Iceland are the Pragmatic Travellers and the Fully Relax Travellers;

d) The report recognises that increasing the number of Chinese visitors to Iceland at a faster rate than the tourism industry can handle may strain and negatively impact the existing infrastructure. Environmentally it is unsustainable. Hence contingencies such as a “circuit breaker” was built into during our scenario planning exercise and strategic recommendations with an option to limit and control the flow of Chinese tourists to Iceland were designed. 

Crosslinked has concluded a project providing strategic recommendations to increase number of Chinese tourists to Iceland. This project showcased Crosslinkers' expertise in STRATEGY, HOSPITALITY & TOURISM industry in CHINA & EUROPE. 

This article is contributed by one of Crosslinked's associates and strictly represents the author's own opinion. Any further queries can be sent to