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?
Only a third of Icelanders will be buying a real live Christmas tree this holiday season, report RÚV. According to a survey from MMR, artificial Christmas trees have been slowly but surely taking over the holiday tree market in Iceland. Roughly 32% of people will be buying a living Christmas tree this year compared to 40% two years ago. Meanwhile 56% of Icelanders plan to buy or put up an artificial Christmas tree this year. Taking their survey a bit further MMR discovered that those who vote for the Social Democratic Alliance or Bright Future are more likely to buy
An aerial image of the Holuhraun eruption and the surrounding lava field was the inspiration for the Earth Sciences Institute’s (ESI) annual Christmas card this year, reports RÚV. The eruption site and lava field have – through the wonders of Windows Paint – been transformed into a lovely red Santa hat with the following seasonal greeting from ESI staff: We’ll keep an eye on the lava, but… Merry Christmas! Post by Jarðvísindastofnun Háskólans. Yesterday was a fairly calm day on at the eruption site according to the Meteorological office. Only two earthquakes with a magnitude over 4 were measured. As
“The Poor Give The Rich Second Hand Domestic Appliances” is the title of an announced event, scheduled on December 23, the last business day before Christmas, locally known as Þorláksmessa. The event was announced on Facebook last Monday. —Thursday afternoon, over 800 people had RSVP’d. The event is occasioned by utterances made by Vilhjálmur Bjarnason, member of Alþingi on behalf of the Independence Party, during recent discussions about next years State Treasury budget. Vilhjálmur said that lowering the VAT on domestic appliances would benefit those economically worse off, even as the VAT on food is raised, since the poor can
The Seventh Yule Lad, Hurðaskellir (Door Slammer), will be launching his new experimental electro-punk album “Door Sounds” at Kex Hostel tonight. The album, co-produced by the energetic Ghostigital duo Einar Örn Benediktsson and Curver, features loops of doors slamming, hinges creaking, keys jingling and knobs turning over synths and a mix of dub and hip hop beats. The album marks Hurðaskellir’s musical debut and has been met with generally positive reviews, the Grapevine’s music contributor Bob Cluness even went as far as saying that he “didn’t hate it.” “I have been naturally attracted to rhythm for centuries,” said Hurðaskellir. “Last
On Wednesday, the Progressive Party’s Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi “Barbershop” Sveinsson met with France’ socialist Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius. According to the Icelandic Foreign Ministry’s press release, the two discussed relations between the countries in the fields of culture, business, tourism, developments in the Arctic, geothermal energy, defence matters and NATO, as well as recent events in Ukraine, the Middle-East and global warming. While this is certainly an impressive set of topics, the press release does not reveal any obviously newsworthy statements on behalf of either Minister. According to picture which accompanied the press release, however, the duo must also
The rough weather in Iceland this past week has kept the Icelandic Association of Search and Rescue extremely busy, reports Vísir. Yesterday Ársæll Search and Rescue Team filmed and posted a video of their efforts to dig out a car stuck in the snow. Post by Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg. As those who have left the house in the past few days know, Iceland has been experiencing some bad weather and road conditions remain precarious. The Search and Rescue teams have had to assist many drivers of late—to stay safe consider checking out Iceland’s Road and Coastal Administration’s road map which documents