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.
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