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Iceland is fastest growing nation brand of 2017, thanks to Game of Thrones

By Staff

  • Game of Thrones The best known TV series shot in Iceland has done a lot to draw attention to Icelandic landscapes world wide, helping boost tourism. Photo/Game of Thrones, Vísir.

Iceland is the fastest growing nation brand of 2017, up 83% from last year, according to the Nation Brands 2017 report from Brand Finance (pdf). The report argues that the growth of tourism and exposure from the hit TV series the Game of Thrones.

Read more: Game of Thrones cast spotted in Reykjavík and on the black sand beaches of South Iceland

Brand Finance bills itself as the world's leading independent branded business valuation and strategy consultant. The report measures the strength and value of the national brand of 100 leading countries using the same method used to evaluate the value of the world's largest companies, and is intended to help businesses make decisions about where to invest as well as to help governments make decisions about how to attract foreign direct investment.

The value of being "North of the Wall"
The report finds that Iceland is the 88th most valuable nation brand in 2017, up from spot 101 in 2016. The value of the Icelandic national brand, with a "brand rating" of AAA-, is 26 billion USD, the report finds, um 83% since last year. This increase in the value of the Icelandic national brand is thanks to tourism and the hit TV series the Game of Thrones, the report argues.

"Thanks to the hit television show, Game of Thrones, which films most of its winter scenes in Iceland, the country has seen a record 1.8 million foreign visitors in 2016, up 40% from 2015. The first two months of 2017 saw a 59% increase on the same period of 2016 and the figure is expected to reach 2.4 million by the end of this year. The increase in visitors brings great financial benefits to the nation. Tourists spent US$212 million in 2016, using credit and debit cards alone, and as the number of visitors is forecast to increase, so will the injection of money."

The world's most valuable brands are the US, China, Germany, Japan and the UK. Brexit and the election of Trump are identified as sources of problems for the US and the UK, creating uncertainty and thus imperiling the long term value of the national brands. Sweden is the only Nordic country to make it into the top 20, valued at 703 billion USD. 

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