Icelandic Travel Industry Bouncing Back?

Vala Hafstað

There are numerous indications that the Icelandic travel industry may be bouncing back sooner than expected, after taking a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, Morgunblaðið reports, quoting Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, managing director of SAF, the Icelandic Travel Industry Association.

“It goes without saying that if the travel industry bounces back a month or two earlier than expected, that will be a game changer,” he states. “There is more reason for optimism now than a month or two ago.”

Mainly, this is thanks to vaccinated tourists from the US, although the UK is rebounding as well, while elsewhere the response is minimal.

“There is no question that the decision to allow vaccinated people from outside Schengen to arrive [in Iceland] was essential,” Jóhannes states, – so much that for many companies in this industry, it determines whether they sink or swim.” In addition, he adds, the government’s plan to ease restrictions, announced Tuesday, weighs heavily.

Jóhannes believes what matters most is reaching the goal of receiving 700,000 tourists this year, the number on which the economic forecast of the Central Bank of Iceland and that of the Ministry of Finance is based.

In recent days, airlines have been hiring pilots, and various companies in the travel industry are rehiring, the number of ads is on the rise, and bookings are being made. Besides, as vaccinations proceed, optimism is up.

Abroad, there are reports of an increase in travel-related bookings – not least in the US and the UK, where vaccinations have proceeded well. In those countries, all sorts of restrictions are being lifted.

For years, the largest groups of tourists visiting Iceland have come from the US and the UK. 




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