Record number of tourists in Iceland 2009
Thursday 28, January 2010
Iceland, in spite of challenging worldwide economic times, experienced yet another record year in arrivals in 2009.
“We expect considerably more tourists in 2010 than last year,” states Ms. Olof Yrr Atladottir, director general of the Iceland Tourist Board (ITB) on the organization’s website.
Nearly a two percent decrease in the number of tourists visiting Iceland by air and ferry was bolstered by a 16 percent increase in the number of cruise ship passengers – bringing the total to a positive 0.7 percent.
Outbound travel from Iceland decreased by a hefty 37 percent mainly due to near 50 percent depreciation of the local currency, the Icelandic krona (ISK), making it much more expensive for the Icelandic people to travel abroad than before. The depreciation of the ISK was the result of the collapse of the country’s banking system in October 2008.
However, outbound tourism is off to a good start in 2010 according to outbound tour operators.
In 2009, some 566,000 tourists visited Iceland, an island nation inhabited by 317,000 people, making tourism one of the most important export industries. Both major airlines serving Iceland, Icelandair, and Iceland Express, have added more flights this year in anticipation of an increase in demand.
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.