Iceland uses Social Media for Democracy & Tourism in Rebuilding Economy

“In the aftermath of the financial crisis, we realized that this wasn’t just an economic or a financial crisis; it was also a social, political and judicial crisis,” says Grímsson. “If we were going to allow the nation to regain its strength and position, it wouldn’t be sufficient to deal with it in traditional economic and financial ways. We needed a different democratic approach.”

Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has used a unique strategy to rebuild tourism and democracy in Iceland, following the country’s economic meltdown in 2008. Not only does Iceland take advantage of Twitter & Facebook for tourism campaigns, they also use Tumblr to humanize the country further and display its beauty.

Iceland Blog

Also interesting is the President’s approach to democracy through Social Media. When drafting a new constitution in 2011, copies were posted online and citizens were asked to contribute.

“You can look at it as an innovative thing, in terms of modern technology, but it’s actually just a modern expression on an old Icelandic tradition,” says Grímsson.

Using Social Media as a democratic tool is compelling because of its speed. Iceland is taking the town hall meeting online, where constituents can quickly and easily join the conversation. The question the article poses is whether this model can succeed on a larger scale, say in the US. I think it can, but on a more local level than Iceland’s example.

Regarding tourism, I think Iceland is ahead of the curve in utilizing Social Media. By giving the country a voice and presenting its rural beauty, the country is building a brand in the Social community with increased exposure.


3 thoughts on “Iceland uses Social Media for Democracy & Tourism in Rebuilding Economy

  1. At first I was skeptical about how effective Iceland’s social media campaign could be in attracting tourists to the country. After visiting the site, my opinions have changed. While I think the site is clever, that would not get me to visit the country. However, the pictures and videos might. They are truly breathtaking. This is a very smart way to engage people and encourage them to not only visit the website, but the country as well.

    As for using Social Media for democratic purposes, I would have to agree that it would be very tough to use this in the US. There are too many opinions, especially strong ones, to have a productive discussion. It might work for smaller, local governments – lets say on a town or county level. However, there is a chance it could work here, as we have seen how it played a big role in electing a president.

  2. I think using a blog to introduce a country is very interesting. It makes a country more approachable and humanized. The idea that building a social media brand for a country is very smart, new and attractive. I believe the pictures and videos and all the conversations within the blog will truly help to promote Iceland’s tourism.
    Also, I think it might be a good way to use social media for political purpose to some degree. However, social media is existed as a mass medium while politics is a more elite and professional field. I don’t know if social media can works very efficiently in politics.

  3. I think that the social media aspect of tourism in lesser know countries such as Iceland is a brilliant idea. Beyond knowing a few major cities, I beleive it is save to say that the average person does not know very much about this country. Utilising this major outreaching techonolgies, Iceland is able to recieve much needed recognition which Im sure results in an increase in tourism.

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