ICELAND TOURISM ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

Denise Chen - Dec 9, 2008
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Recently, the small Northern Atlantic nation of Iceland has been in the news constantly but mostly for the negative reasons. It has been the centre of the world financial crisis, being quoted almost everywhere as the epitome of what the crisis can do to a country if it manages to hit hard.

Indeed, changes on the island have not only occurred in the fact that the banks have gone bankrupt, yet in almost all fields of life. This, of course, means that Iceland’s tourism sector is changing rapidly and the country’s image in tourism is similarly going through a transitional period.

Iceland used to be considered as a haven only for the richest of the world’s travellers. It was almost a no-go area for budget travellers as the extremely high standard of living of the Icelanders gave the country the deserved reputation as being one of the most expensive destinations on the planet.

Nowadays, the reputation has changed as prices have dropped dramatically. For example, a visit to a blue lagoon now costs a mere $20 and a three-course meal at a lobster restaurant would now set you back just $26. These prices are a far cry from those of last year and they are bringing floods of tourists who used to be unable to afford Icelandic prices.

Although some routes have been suspended due to economic misery, flights coming to Iceland have increased. Less Icelanders have been travelling abroad yet Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden have been helping Iceland by promoting the country as a great place to visit. The favour has been returned by Icelandair reducing their fares for the parties involved. The country, which the UN stated had the best standard of living in the world in 2007, is clearly trying to dig itself out of economic disaster by going down the tourism road to recovery.

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