Online Chatter Sparks Iceland Name Debate

Country welcomes submissions for a name that better describes the island following Facebook and Twitter discussion

Sep 12, 2012, 09:00 ET from Inspired by Iceland

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, September 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The country of Iceland today announced that it is to welcome submissions of an alternative name following a storm of discussion on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

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In August 2012 the Inspired By Iceland campaign asked people a simple question: What would you name Iceland if this was your first glimpse? 
_ _ _ _ Land? and in just 3 weeks over 10,000 responded. Many of those who contributed alternative names suggested that the name Iceland was misrepresentative and that another name may better reflect the country.

Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director, Marketing & Visit Iceland at Promote Iceland comments: "As Iceland grows in popularity we're seeing increasing visitors and an ever-growing online fan base. With so many people sharing positive stories, we think it's important to listen and respond to as many of our dedicated fans as possible.

So, we're embracing and rewarding the name discussion and inviting people to our website to tell us what name they think may better describe our country, some of the naming suggestions will appear on marketing materials and online properties."

The simple post, which posed the question, 'What would you name Iceland if this was your first glimpse? _ _ _ _ Land?'  received such an unprecedented response that Inspired by Iceland is now looking to include proposed new names in an advertising campaign to promote the island. Inspired by Iceland has also agreed to add a special name day to their calendar to celebrate the winning submission and all those that have been proposed - "a day where we celebrate what the world loves most about Iceland". It was also suggested that the person who comes up with the most suitably descriptive name will themselves be rewarded with an honorary title and a piece of (Ice) land to call their own.

Florian Thomasson Manheim, Germany

"It has everything from nature to nightlife. Beaches to mountains. Fire to ice. And did I mention that the skies go on and on and on. Iceland is my Landofendlessskyland"

Florian will be starring in one of the posters for this years campaign after the Visit Iceland team were impressed with his story.

A naming booth has been installed at Keflavik airport where visitors are actively encouraged to share what Iceland is to them: name and all. A brand new naming page is now visible on the website and the most popular contributions can be viewed along with the latest videos and images from the campaign. The conversation will also be available on The Inspired by Iceland Facebook and Twitter pages.

Discussion around Iceland's name is nothing new. In fact there has been a long-standing joke for many years that Iceland and Greenland were in fact given one another's names.

The history of Iceland's name

Iceland has experienced its fair share of names  - Snæland (Snowland), Garðarshólmi (named after Gardar Svavarsson), Eylenda (Island). It was a Norwegian Viking called Hrafna-Flóki, or Raven-Flóki, who gave it a name that actually stuck.

On hearing of a new land Flóki set forth across the waters with three ravens in tow to help him find it. The first two of his birds were unsuccessful, but the last flew away westwards and didn't return, confirming for Flóki that land must indeed be ahead.

Having discovered the island, Flóki set up a camp under the hot summer sun where he stayed on until the cold winter set in. At this point Flóki decided to hike up the highest mountain he could see to get a feel for the land and wait for warmer weather. It was from here that he spied a large fjord of drift ice, prompting him to settle on the name 'Island' or 'Iceland'.

Notes to editors

Inspired by Iceland campaign is a public private act - between the Icelandic government, City of Reykjavik, Icelandair, the Travel Industry Association and the Federation of Trade & Services. Around 130 companies are involved. Promote Iceland is the developer and the executive of the campaign.


Inspired By Iceland

Promote Iceland


The Brooklyn Brothers

SOURCE Inspired by Iceland