The number of overnight stays in hotels in Iceland increased by 35% in February 2013 compared to overnight stays in the same month last year. According to a new report released by Statistics Iceland hotels boasted 139,900 overnight stays in February 2013, while in February 2012 overnight stays numbered 103,200. Foreign guests accounted for 82% of the nights spent in hotels, which is a 42% increase year-over-year. Icelanders also spent more nights in hotels, though the increase was more modest, at just 11%. The data released by Statistics Iceland does not include guesthouses or hotels that are open for only part of the year.
About 11,000 Icelanders participated in yesterday’s annual SlutWalk, and helped inspire a parliamentary proposal which could help victims of sexual assault. Vísir reports that about 11,000 Icelanders marched from Hallgrímskirkja at 14:00 yesterday to Austurvöllur, in front of parliament. There, attendees listened to speeches on the subject of placing the blame for rape on rapists rather than victims. The stage was also graced with musical acts, such as the rap group Reykjavíkurdætur, who composed a song for the occasion (see below). While the attendance alone is significant, SlutWalk has also inspired lawmakers to take notice. Vísir reports that Bright Future
About 6,600 Icelanders signed a petition calling for their government to end diplomatic ties with Israel in response to the attacks on Gaza. Vísir reports that journalist Illugi Jökulsson, who initiated the campaign, met with Foreign Affairs Committee chair Birgir Ármannsson on Friday to give him the signatures. While the petition drive began only the previous Monday, by the end of the work week some 6,600 signatures had been gathered. The petitions calls upon the Icelandic government to break political and diplomatic ties with the Israeli government as a response to the attacks on Gaza, adding that diplomatic methods have
An Icelandic man’s pregnant American wife has still not received a verdict on her Icelandic residence permit application even though she applied for one in the fall of last year, reports DV. Jessica Jacobs has lived in Iceland since 2012. Initially she moved to study Icelandic in Ísafjörður, but quickly relocated to Reykjavík where she met her future husband, Matthías Enok Hannesson. After getting married, Matthías and Jessica filed an application for residency which has since developed into a long-winded bureaucratic nightmare. According to the Reykjavík District Commissioner’s Office the couple need to deliver a certificate confirming her marital status in the U.S. This document must
A young man was arrested last night after he attacked a tourist outside the Cabin Hotel on Borgartún in Reykjavík, reports DV. The man, who was found in possession of drugs, violently resisted his arrest and spent the night in jail. The tourist in question was sent to hospital and intends to file charges against the young man. It was a busy night for police who also stopped two drivers in Austurbær. One was under the influence of alcohol and the other under the influence of drugs. Meanwhile in Vesturbær two other drivers were stopped, both under the influence of
More than 1.000 Reykjavík apartments are listed on the short-term rental site AirBnB, reports RÚV. It is estimated that between 1.500 and 2.000 apartments are now being used to accommodate tourists in need of short-term rental. This includes apartment hotels which rent out 340 registered short-term apartments. The new numbers show staggering growth as just last year 600 apartments in Reykjavík were listed on AirBnB. Related Reading Help! I Need A Place To Live
New Police Commissioner of Reykjavík, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, could possibly be in charge of investigating the Interior Minister Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir’s role in the now-infamous leaked memo case despite the fact that she personally appointed the new Police Commissioner, reports RÚV. As reported, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir was appointed Police Commissioner of Reykjavík yesterday. She is the first woman ever to hold the position. Meanwhile, the standing Police Commissioner, Stefán Eiríksson, who has been investigating the leaked memo case, announced he would be taking up the job as Director of Welfare for Reykjavík City. Although the leaked memo case has reached the State Prosecutor’s desk, RÚV reports