Published February 9, 2016
A hotel that recommends its own bottled water over tap water is now being investigated by consumer authorities, and has drawn criticism from others in the tourism industry.
AdaM Hotel caught the attention of those who work in the tourism industry yesterday when photos posted by Reykjavík Energy show that the hotel recommends its guests avoid drinking tap water and buy bottled water instead. Amongst the bottled waters on offer are those labeled as the hotel’s own.
As Grapevine pointed out, Iceland’s drinking water is completely potable, having received perfect scores for water quality from the Environmental Performance Index time and again. There is therefore no reason to buy bottled water in Iceland, unless there is something wrong with the plumbing in the building where you are staying.
MBL now reports that the Consumers’ Association of Iceland has caught wind of the case. Consumer Association department manager Þórunn Anna Árnadóttir told reporters that the owners of the hotel have been given a timeframe to respond before the association rules on the matter.
Part of what they will be examining is whether this constitutes a case of false advertising. However, offering their own brand of bottled water may already make the hotel in breech of Icelandic law. Selling your own bottled water falls under food production laws as requiring a permit – and this permit is required before the sale of products begins.
Whether the hotel is found to be violating existing Icelandic laws or not, Helga Árnadóttir, the managing director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association, told RÚV that the case demonstrates the need for a clearer framework for employers in this growing industry.
“Of course we don’t want to see these kinds of news stories,” she said. “But the situation is things like this happen. As more employers enter the tourism industry, there will unfortunately be those who misstep like this.”
Reporters have as yet not heard back from the owners of AdaM Hotel for their side of the story.