One of Iceland’s captains of the tourist industry has proposed that tourism be given its own ministerial jurisdiction.
MBL reports that Ásbjörn Björgvinsson, the director of the Icelandic Tourism Association, believes the time has come for the Icelandic government to devote at least part of a ministry to what is already a major revenue-generator for Iceland.
“One of the things that the Icelandic Tourism Association has pushed for is that Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir be given the title Minister of Tourism, not just the Minister of Industry and Commerce,” the title she current holds, he told reporters.
Ásbjörn believes the title would give more importance to tourism, while pointing out that ministers of multiple sectors is a fact of life in Iceland.
“We have a Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Industries and Innovation,” he said. “We believe the time has come for a Minister of Tourism. This is only natural, as tourism has been an employment sector that generates the most revenue, and we don’t see that changing any time soon.”
RÚV reports that the number of tourists to Iceland increased by 20% last year, and is expected to increase by another 20% this year. If tourism’s trend continues as it does, Ásbjörn says, 5,000 new jobs could be created over the next ten years.