Iceland‘s first time at Beijing International Travel Expo
Iceland was among the many exciting destinations on display at the Beijing International Travel Expo (BITE) 2011 when its doors were opened last Friday. Icelandair, Hotels of Iceland and the Embassy of Iceland in Beijing joined together to host the Icelandic participation, which was the first time Iceland participates in BITE.
Iceland is a unique destination for Chinese tourists. Think of Iceland and there are several familiar associations: hip Reykjavík, the beautiful therapeutic Blue Lagoon, or perhaps our musical exports Björk or Sigur Rós. But this land of boiling mud pools, spurting geysers, glaciers and waterfalls is also an adventure playground. Its breathtaking landscape is an inspiration to artists and photographers. Iceland is the least densely populated country in Europe, with a pure, unpolluted and truly magical landscape. Iceland’s summers are surprisingly warm, lush and green, with days lengthening until midsummer, when the sun dips down to the horizon but never sets. During winter you can marvel at the amazing, undulating green, blue, yellow and pink lights of the aurora in the night sky, and the winters are not as cold as you might imagine. Regardless of when you visit, you can be assured of the warmth of the Icelanders’ welcome and their desire to share their culture and make every effort to ensure that your stay is a pleasant one.
BITE is organized by the Beijing Tourism Development Commission. This year was the 8th year of the expo and it was held at the China National Convention Center. More than 750 exhibitors from 80 countries and areas as well as 200 industrial buyers attended the exhibition. Iceland was among nine new countries presented at the expo this year but countries like Bhutan and Brunei also made their premier at BITE in 2011.
The travel expo coincidentally opened on the same day as Iceland celebrates its national day. 17 June was chosen as the date for celebrating Iceland’s independence because it is the birth date of Jon Sigurdsson, leader of the Icelandic independence movement and father of the republic. 2011 will see a series of festivities in Iceland and around the world, including China, because of the 200th anniversary of Jon Sigurdsson.
2011 marks the 40th anniversary of bilateral relations between Iceland and China. The Icelandic Embassy in Beijing in cooperation with Promote Iceland is presenting Iceland as a unique destination for Chinese tourists. This involves a new brochure in Chinese on tourism in Iceland as well as a new website under the domain www.iceland.com.cn.