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Developing Wellness in Iceland. Theming Wellness Destinations the Nordic Way

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Abstract:

This paper deals with the development of Iceland as a wellness destination with specific focus on a development project in the north-east (NE) of the country. Iceland is known as a destination for nature-based tourism with the vast majority of people visiting the country for the wilderness or natural elements. Complementing the nature-based tourism on offer, especially in the uninhabited highland interior, has been the occasional dip into a natural geo-thermal pool, often to be found in unique settings and of a great variety when it comes to water qualities. Since the 1970s, Icelanders have been very actively using these geo-thermal waters for the build up of heating utilities in the country, in swimming pools and for producing electricity. The most famed tourism consequence of these developments is undoubtedly the Blue Lagoon. In the NE of Iceland a similar service facility has been built but under wholly different terms. This paper demonstrates a lack of a vision in the development of Iceland as a wellness destination on the entrepreneurial level. Moreover, in terms of the case outlined, these entrepreneurs find little commonalities with a specific Nordic wellbeing concept and have a much more internationally-oriented comparative outlook.

Keywords: Iceland; Myvatn; Nordic; nature; tourism and health; wellness

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2011.525026

Affiliations: Icelandic Tourism Research Centre and University of Akureyri, Iceland

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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