Austurland Project from Iceland

Austurland Project

Photo courtesy of Design Nation Sweden


The destination design of Austurland project 2014-2018… was developed by the regional tourism organisation FAUST and managed by the regional business development organisation Austurbrú. 


The Idea for the Initiative… to implement destination design on Austurland, in order to develop the region with a focus on the well-being of communities and residents. 


Key Goals…

To have an open and inclusive process of co-designing the ‘tourist offer’ that addresses the needs for professional and sustainable destination management that will benefit Austurland as a whole.

To strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of the destination.


Innovation and Inspirational Know-How…

The project asked what tourism can do for the local culture rather than the other way around.

It addressed the soul of the community and pride of the local culture. The involvement of local people and local businesses in the co-creation of a more varied cultural offer and the local-to-local link was strong already prior the pandemic crisis. It appears to form part of the resilience of the local context in times of crisis. 


Austurland Project

Photo courtesy of Design Nation Sweden



To get everyone onboard and be committed to the project. This required promoting proper understanding of the process and creating a feeling of being part of a movement. 


Meeting the Challenges…

Remaining visible at all times and attending all meetings, thus showing the process in action throughout. 

Cultural and creative industries were key stakeholders and involved throughout the process.


Impacts… Its success had led it to become a model for the whole of Iceland. Its immediate indicators are both economic and social. This has led to the development of local products within tourism experiences, food, handicrafts and more. The revenue from tourism has increased by a growing number of guest-nights, primarily depending on longer stay by visitors and higher occupancy rates.  

Public and private sectors connected though originally its focus was on tourism.


And going forward… Future plans are for the project to be sustainable and that it becomes part of the DMO – Destination Management Organization of Austurland.


Further information


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