© 2016 Zamo / D.Vidve
Ever see a friend post pictures of their vacation on Instagram or Facebook? Sure, we all have, and based on the evidence, a whole lot of people make their way to the capitals of Western Europe each year. The days of being impressed by a picture in front of the Statue of Liberty may well be over. But to see that same person in Iceland, bathing in striking blue waters, standing in a ski jacket overlooking a stark, rocky expanse of pockmarked moonscape, smiling with an icelandic donut in hand, that old jealous feeling comes creeping back. I want to do that.
Iceland, the small island nation that is Europe’s westernmost land mass, has a diverse economy buoyed by an abundance of that most important of natural resources: energy. The geothermal and hydroelectric power sources in Iceland are renewable, non-polluting, and plentiful, meaning that electricity-intensive industrial processes, like Aluminum smelting, are a natural fit for the small country. Manufacturing is also an important sector due to this abundance of electricity. Iceland’s traditional fishing industry, drawing from teeming stocks of Cod and Atlantic Mackerel, is still the country’s biggest economic sector, contributing 27.1% of total GDP in 2011.
But Iceland’s growing reputation as a remote, harsh, and extremely beautiful place has lead tourism—once merely an economic part afterthought—to grow steadily in importance over the past 15 years. Certainly buoyed by the advent of social media the tourism industry is estimated to contribute over 5% to the Icelandic GDP as of 2015. The same volcanic activity that gives Iceland its abundance of natural energy has shaped the country into a striking and other-worldly landscape, drawing well over a million visitors each year. Its culture has been shaped by this environment as well, with seasons of alternating 24-hour sunlight or 24-hour darkness leading to a highly literate, tough, and coffee-loving people, people with a love for avant-garde music and art.
Iceland Travel Assistance (ITA), based in Iceland’s capital (and, really, only major city) Reykjavik, is an organization devoted to helping tourists in Iceland discover and access the experiences that make Iceland a can’t-miss travel destination. Serving the small and medium businesses that make up the tourism industry, ITA sells tours for any properly licensed tour operator in the country. © 2016 Zamo / D.Vidve
ITA reaches customers through its physical locations in Reykjavik and its web presence at Iceland Online
, where it provides information and accommodates bookings of rental cars, tours, hotel rooms, restaurant reservations, and travel arrangements. With its staff of fully-trained customer service professionals, ITA can help travelers craft the Icelandic journey of their dreams with ease.
ITA helps customers choose between incredible tour options like bathing in the purportedly healing (yet definitely warm) waters of the Blue Lagoon, viewings of Northern Lights, off-road Jeep expeditions, spelunking into an inactive volcano, scenic hikes, helicopter tours, and a lot more. With the dual-pronged appeal of both Reykjavik’s active nightlife and arts scene and the natural beauty of the rugged Icelandic back country, ITA has no shortage of choices for the adventurous explorer.
Established in 2002, Icelandic Travel Assistance was chosen as the Travel Association of the year 2016 by Luxury Travel Guide, showing that the reputation and excellence of the organization only continues to grow. Tourism in Iceland will only grow with its reputation as a must-visit and flight options to the island proliferate. In fact, Iceland is the shortest (and sometimes most inexpensive) flight between the United States and Europe, making it a natural choice for a first stop on a European vacation. ITA will play a central role in helping Icelandic tour operators, hotels, and restaurants connect with visitors and serve them with quality and hospitality as the industry continues to grow in the coming years.
ABOUT BID AND THE CENTURY INTERNATIONAL QUALITY ERA AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.