The director of the Icelandic Tourist Board says that tourists no longer regard Iceland as a cheap travel destination, but that competition will prevent visitors for being increasingly and unfairly bilked.
“In polls done on the subject, it has come to light that people certainly don’t see Iceland as an inexpensive place to visit,” Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, the director of the Icelandic Tourist Board, told RÚV. “People are not coming here looking for a cheap destination. They consider the prices here rather high.”
Icelanders have become increasingly aware of what they see as unfair mark-ups on goods and services directed at tourists. The cost of renting a car in Iceland, for example, is three times higher than in other Scandinavian countries. The cost of accommodation and food is also on the rise, with one Akureyri town councilperson telling Vísir he was worried that “our greed will lead us to trouble.”
For her part, Ólöf is not particularly worried that this trend will continue.
“People’s visits to Iceland surpass their expectations [in the polls],” she said. “Of course there is always a danger of [price hikes] such as this, just as in any other profession. Competition ought to prevent this from happening, and of course, a reputation means everything for any given company, region, or the country as a whole.”