About Inga Hlin Palsdottir
Inga Hlin Palsdottir has been an integral part of branding and promotion for Iceland for over a decade and has been involved with all aspects of the tourism industry. She led successful changes for the brand Iceland as a place and destination, both in crisis and in times of growth. She is the former director of Visit Iceland and the award winning campaign Inspired by Iceland. In her time the tourism industry in Iceland went from being the third largest revenue generating industry to the largest one. As well as becoming a whole year round destination in all regions. Her main emphasis has been on stakeholders’ engagement, integrated marketing, sustainability and responsibility in the industry. From 2020, she has been advising places and destinations on strategy, branding, stakeholders engagement, integrated marketing and crisis communication. She is also Senior Advisor with Future Place Leadership.
In 2007-2008, she was part of reassessing the strategy for Iceland in nation branding before and after the financial crisis. A strategy that, led to the establishment of Promote Iceland in 2010, a public-private partnership promoting Iceland internationally for trade, tourism, foreign direct investment, and culture.
From 2010-2019, she was the Director for Visit Iceland and Creative Industries at Promote Iceland. Visit Iceland is the destination marketing office(DMO) and works under the brand of Inspired by Iceland. One of her first projects was the crisis response for the tourism industry in relation to the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull.
At Promote Iceland she was also in charge of the marketing initiative Iceland Naturally in the North American market along with the Foreign Affair Services, with the aim of increasing the interest in the destination, products and services.
She served on the board of NATA – North Atlantic Tourism Association from 2014-2019 and was a part of the reference group to the Nordic Council of Ministers on Nordic branding and Profiling from 2015-2019. She also worked with the board of directors of Meet in Reykjavik, Convention Bureau for several years.
She has written articles and been a speaker on various occasions e.g. Skift Forum, ITB travel show, World Travel Market and City Nation Place. She has also been on judging boards for marketing and place branding and she has been a part of the international panel of place branding specialists for Place Brand Observer for several years.
She was awarded Gold in the Stevie Awards for Women in 2017 as Female Innovator of the Year in government and nonprofit. She was also awarded silver in Executive of the Year and Woman of the Year in the category of government and nonprofit. In, 2014 she also made the Skift 50 list as one of the top 50 travel marketers in the global travel industry.
The Inspired by Iceland brand is one of the most awarded destination initiatives in the world e.g. Euro Effie Grand Prix, Cannes Lion, North American Effie Awards. It was also voted in PRWeek in 2019, the second best PR campaign of the decade.