The Icelandic Tourist Board has expressed its concerns about the current large scale plans to construct hotels throughout the country, RÚV reports. Calling the trend a “goldrush,” the Board is urging Prospective hotel builders and owners to stop to assess the situation based on realistic assumptions and viable information. The number of hotels currently on the drawing board are not in line with reliable projections about tourism in the country. There will be 3000 new hotel rooms added to the current availability in the near future and in order to make these additional rooms a worthwhile investment Iceland would need to attract more than 1 million tourists annually, which exceeds all current projections for tourism growth. The annual usage of rooms in already existing guesthouses and hotels is less than 50%, even with tourism steadily increasing. Plans to build many hotels in central Reykjavík, in lots where older and sometimes historic buildings currently stand, have been controversial. When it was announced that much loved concert venue Nasa would be shuttered in favour of a hotel being built a petition was widely signed but failed to save the venue’s fate. Heart Garden, a popular public space sandwiched between Laugavegur and Hverfisgata that is plastered in colourful murals, and surrounding buildings will also be sacrificed in favour of cashing in on the tourism rush by way of erecting hotels. Related: Time and Tides and Hotels The Hotel Debate – Availability and Demand Where Has The Love Gone?
A group of landowners in Reyðarfjörður have told the Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminium smelter to stop the emission of fluoride in the area. Austurfrétt reports that the landowners’ group Landeigendur Áreyja has told the directorship to put an end to the omissions, which they say are far too high. Guðrún Kjartansdóttir, speaking to reporters on the matter, said that before the smelter was built, area residents were promised that they need not worry about any kind of fluoride pollution from the smelter. “We were told that this would be a very hi-tech and perfect smelter,” she said. “It is unacceptable to
An immigrant from Iran has won a court case against the Icelandic government, after he was denied a work permit on grounds the court found insufficient. MBL reports that the man in question came to Iceland from Iran in 2011, originally on a student permit. Later in the year, he bought an import company, taking a seat on the directorship and registering himself as the managing director. After buying the company, the man changed the company’s name, and began to import silk and carpets from the Middle East, as well as dates, nuts and other foodstuffs. However, in March 2013
Bárðarbunga caldera continues to subside at the same rate as before, roughly half a metre per day, reports the Institute of Earth Sciences. Large earthquakes are still being detected in the Bárðarbunga caldera, several with a magnitudes over 3, some over 5. The lava production at the currently active Holuhraun eruption continues to be strong. The lava flow is now around the centre of the lava field, which has grown to around 37 square kilometres. As reported, scientists in the field estimate that around 90% of the SO2 gas coming from the eruption originates in the active craters and only 10%
The outlook for hedge funds caught in Iceland’s $85 billion banking failure may be looking up, reports Bloomberg. The administrators overseeing claims against one of the three banks that defaulted in 2008, Glitnir Bank hf, say recent talks with a government committee indicate that it will now be easier to complete creditor settlements. “My impression is that the government had until now not been ready,” Steinunn Guðbjartsdóttir, head of Glitnir’s winding-up committee, told Bloomberg. “Now that they’ve got their processes in place, it will be possible to complete this sooner rather than later.” The main obstacle to repaying creditors has
The Icelandic Met Office predicts sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas from the Holuhraun eruption will move north and east over the next 24 hours. As can be seen, the Met Office has two maps for predicted areas where significant levels of SO2 will be present. Egilsstaðir and Reyðarfjörður are expected to be hit the hardest by the gas, which continues to pour out of the Holuhraun eruption site. However, levels of SO2 will vary from region to region, and even from hour to hour. A more detailed map allows one to see the forecast movement of SO2 concentrations through Tuesday. Simply
A former employee of the Office of the Special Prosecutor says the office tapped phones of suspects illegally. The Minister of Justice believes the matter needs to be investigated. In an interview with Fréttablaðið, former Special Prosecutor’s Office employee Jón Óttar Ólafsson said that the office listened in on illegal taps of phone conversations of clients and lawyers alike. Both the Special Prosecutor (shown above) and the State Prosecutor have dismissed the allegations as completely untrue. However, RÚV reports that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson – serving in his capacity as acting Justice Minister – believes the matter warrants further