The Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, became immensely recognized and popular immediately after its inauguration. It was a conceptual change of a hotel – the whole idea of cold climate as an attraction rather than a disadvantage turned the image of the north upside down.
Over the years the Icehotel has been further developed, and new courageous ice designs occur every year, when the hotel opens for a new season. It has become prestigious to be an ice designer and architect. Icehotels are copied in other cold regions, for example Canada.
The original Swedish Icehotel was also innovative in terms of marketing methods. A powerful symbiotic partnership with the Absolut Aquavit is important for the marketing of both the drink, the hotel and the destination.
The opening of Icebars in other parts of the country is also a strategically effective and innovative marketing tool. An Icebar has opened in the amusement park Liseberg in Gothenburg. The place is thrilling and provides the customer with an initial idea of the alternatives to warm beach holidays. It is open also on hot summer days.
Evoking interest and reaching audiences in other places than the main destination is a new and emerging practice in tourism.
A Swedish study demontrates the use of the Icebars as a communication tool for the Icehotel. During the visit to the bar many senses are stimulated, and the memory of this experience lasts longer than those from other drinking experiences. The Icebar is a franchised sub-concept of importance for both rapid expansion and economic returns to the mother organisation. However, there are restrictions: only one bar is allowed per country.