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?
Iceland’s representative at the United Nations, Gréta Gunnarsdóttir, condemned both Israel and Palestine in a speech at an open meeting of the Security Council last night, reports Vísir. “I want to start by expressing Iceland’s condemnation of the violations of international humanitarian law by both sides in the conflict,” said Gréta. “While the current situation in Gaza is beyond tragic I am not going to dwell on it. Because the core problem is not what is happening today. The core problem is the occupation.” In her speech Gréta said that the IDF’s air and ground assault raised concerns about respect for the
An incredibly large landslide struck the south-eastern side of Öskjuvatn lake just before midnight last night and all traffic to the area has subsequently been closed, report Vísir. The landslide was so large it caused a tsunami in the lake and made the surrounding area tremor for over 20 minutes. The landslide is attributed to good weather in recent days which lead to ice around the lake melting quickly, causing the ground to destabilise. The ridge surrounding the lake is still believed to be unstable and landslips are possible. All traffic in and around the area has therefore been banned until scientists and Iceland’s Emergency
When store manager Sara María Júlíusdóttir showed up for work at Kirsuberjatréð yesterday morning she stumbled upon an uncomfortable scene, namely an alleged tourist relieving himself on the sidewalk outside the storefront. “When I arrived Arndís [Jóhannsdóttir, the shop owner] was just in shock,” Sara María told Vísir. “The man had just pooped and peed in front of the store. Arndís lives above the shop so the man had literally tended to his needs one metre away from her home.” According to Sara María the man stood and walked away when he was done as though nothing had happened, stopping only to
Sláturfélag Suðurlands (SS) reports that there is a shortage of Icelandic beef, prompting the company to blend Danish beef into their hot dogs. Sold under the slogan “Icelanders Eat SS Hot Dogs”, SS hot dogs are arguably one of Iceland’s iconic foods. However, Viðskiptablaðið reports that they are no longer 100% Icelandic. “Unfortunately, due to the present shortage of Icelandic beef, we have been forced to use a little Danish beef that meets our quality standards,” SS product manager Guðmundur Svavarsson told reporters. While not specifying on the exact quantity of Danish beef in the hot dogs, Guðmundur provided assurances
Fraudsters pretending to be employees of Microsoft are contacting Icelanders by both letter and telephone. MBL reports that one of the most common tactics these fraudsters will use will be to call people on their home phones, purporting to be employees of Microsoft. These fraudsters tell the potential victim that Microsoft has detected a virus on their computer, and that in order to be rid of it, they must go to a specific website to download and install “virus removal software”. In reality, these are not people calling from Microsoft, who cannot see into your computer to look for viruses
July in Iceland has so far had one of the fewest sunny days in over a generation. MBL reports that July has only had three completely cloudy days so far – July 1, 10 and 18. However, a lack of completely cloudy days does not necessarily mean an abundance of sunny days. 50.6 hours of sunlight have been recorded for the month of July so far. This is 58.5 fewer hours than the sunlight average for July calculated from 1961 to 1990, and 85.3 fewer hours than the average over the past ten years. In fact, there has not been