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?
The startup software developer Plain Vanilla, which last year found major success with the game QuizUp, for smartphones, has announced its plans to turn the game into a social media platform. The original QuizUp has been described as “a mobile trivia app similar to the game Trivial Pursuit”. “We no longer look at QuizUp as a game for smartphones but a social network that can affect people’s lives all over the world, and create more value for the company,” said Plain Vanilla’s founder and CEO, Þorsteinn. B Friðriksson, interviewed by Vísir. Þorsteinn said that the idea came from emails that
The European Writers’ Council (EWC) has expressed “deep concern” about the Icelandic government’s plans to raise the VAT on books from 7% to 12%. In a statement released at the council’s annual general assembly, EWC says it sees the raise as “devastating to the small Icelandic book market,” and predicts it “will have painful and irreversible effects on authors, publishers, booksellers, and on the reading culture of a nation known throughout the world for its rich and diverse literary heritage.” The statement further points out the example of “your neighbouring countries like Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Faroe
A three-day “Dating” Bootcamp by controversial Pick Up Artist, Julien Blanc, due to be held in Iceland next year, has most likely been cancelled, reports Vísir. The workshop – as well as a course planned in Sweden – has been removed from the overall schedule on organiser Real Social Dynamics’ website. As reported, news of Blanc’s course in Iceland prompted mass protest from the public with over 11.000 people signing an online petition to stop Blanc from entering the country. Icelandic comedian and cartoonist, Hugleikur Dagsson, proposed an alternative approach, saying the country should welcome him rather than martyr him, then
The film, Aurora Iceland, featuring 3 years worth of time-lapsed aurora borealis footage has been released on VOD. As reported, three independent filmmakers spent over 130 nights over 3 years in 50 different locations across Iceland taking time-lapse sequences of northern lights with 50,000 individual High Resolution RAW images. Each second of the film is equal to approximately 3-5 minutes of real time. “In our opinion it is not enough to just catch beautiful aurora displays of all shapes and colours,” said film maker Snorri Þór Tryggvason who shot the film alongside his day job. “Each frame had to look
In a unsurprising turn of events, the weather will be getting much colder in Iceland in the coming days. RÚV reports that dropping temperatures are expected to cause icy road conditions and black ice. The Icelandic Met Office has stipulated that this is mostly applicable to the West and Southwestern parts of Iceland and mountain roads in the North and Northeast. Icy road conditions have been reported in Hellisheiði, Sandskeiði, at Mosfellsheiði and Lyngdalsheiði, so if you are traveling through those areas, stay vigilant. Up north icy road conditions and hail showers are expected at Holtavörðuheiði, Hrútafjörður, Bröttubrekka and Svínadalur.
Young Margrét Vera Mánadóttir believes English playwright and actor Richard O’Brien is her father, reports Vísir. O’Brien is known for writing Rocky Horror Picture Show and for his role as Riff Raff. In a twist of fate, Margrét has been cast in the role of Riff Raff in her high school production of Rocky Horror. “I’ve tried to get in touch with him but haven’t gotten any replies,” said Margrét. “My mum tells me it’s pointless, but I’d like to try to contact him.” Margrét’s mother and a friend of hers traveled to London at the start of 1997 which is where