Serbooking Traveller Story

Source: www.lonelyplanet.com

Iceland has been one of the world’s most popular destinations in recent years, thanks in part to Icelandair’s stopover programme. But if you’re looking to get off the tourist track and follow your own interests on your trip to Iceland, the airline now wants to connect you with a local who can help.

Get the best tips for Kirkjufjara black sand beach. Image by ©Vitalii Matokha/Shutterstock

Icelandair has launched a new “Buddy Hotline”, which connects the airline’s passengers with a local staff member who they can ask for trip planning advice and local tips. Travellers can connect with a buddy by phone or online messenger and ask for a restaurant recommendation, tips on the best geothermal pools to visit, or whatever they’d like to know. According to the airline, the buddies are all “knowledgeable and passionate about promoting responsible tourism in the country.”

The Blue Lagoon is a famous geothermal bath resort in Iceland, but could you find others? Image by ©Roberto La Rosa/Shutterstock

A study conducted by Icelandair found that 27% of Americans feel overwhelmed by trip planning, while 52% feel anxious, stressed or confused about what to do on their trip. That is combined with the fact that 68% are interested in having access to local knowledge for their trip. It helps that more and more travellers are seeking out hidden gems and looking to experience the local culture. About 43% even say they like to shop locally in an attempt to travel more sustainably.

The tourism surge in Iceland continues, with a 24.1% boost in visitors last year.  Image by ©Lottie Davies/Lonely Planet

The Icelandair Buddies can also help with niche interests, connecting callers to people like Guðlaug, who is a hiker who can shine a light of some of the best places to explore, or Edda, who is passionate about traditional Icelandic culture and knits lopapeysa, a traditional Icelandic sweater, in her spare time.

If you want to take advantage of the service you better act fast, as the hotline has just launched and will only run until 8 May. Find out more at icelandair.com/BuddyHotline.

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