Icelandic hotel owners are feeling the pressure from foreign travel agencies who want to book accommodations even further ahead than they did before. This makes it harder for newer travel agencies to get started in Iceland.
RÚV reports that travel agencies have been ensuring reservations for accommodations years in advance. This tendency is especially visible in the countryside, as there is not much availability in Reykjavík. Recently, the pressure has only increased.
“Usually [travel agencies] confirm bookings for two years,” Ester Björnsdóttir, the sales and marketing manager with Keahotels, told reporters. “But recently they have extended that to three years.”
There are many factors that lead to these circumstances, but the main reason is the increase in airlines flying to Iceland, bringing more tourists to the country than ever before.
Hotel owners have been trying to control this increase, because it makes it very difficult for new travel agencies to have a chance on the market. However, they cannot block this progress completely.
“We do our best to leave some space for new [travel agencies] on the market,”she says. “But naturally, we prioritise those agencies who have been loyal to us all those years.”