In recent months, the tourism industry has started to experience something unheard of just 12 months ago—mass cancellations.
The main culprit in the wave of cancellations is the ever strengthening króna, which together with already high prices has made visiting the country unfeasible for a large segment of travellers. The króna appreciated 10.6% last year and you’d have to go back to 1934 to find a period when the króna increased more in value.
In today’s edition of Morgunblaðið, Steinþór jónsson, hotel manager at Hótel Keflavík, said that recently he has experienced cancellations en masse.
“This winter we started receiving cancellations and just the other day a large travel agent told us that 40 groups, which were to stay with us this winter had cancelled,” Steinþór told Morgunblaðið. “Other hotels that had the same arrangement must be experiencing the same.”
Steinþór believes that this will only continue in the near future, with travel agents increasingly directing people towards cheaper destinations like Ireland and Norway (yes, the “cheap” Norway).
Earlier in the year, a Norwegian travel company received 1,500 cancellations from tourists due to arrive in the summer. With no obvious signs of the króna depreciating, it seems likely that the cancellation epidemic will continue.
Solutions and CDs
We at the Grapevine try to deal in solutions. Which is why we have established the “Adopt a Tourist Programme”. Through a small donation of just 5,999 króna a month you can help make a tourist’s dream come true, by allowing him one trip to the supermarket, or to buy 4 beers at Kaffibarinn. If you want to help then email email@example.com.
We know you have a choice in worthy causes, but know ours is the worthiest. Sign up now and get a complimentary “I Love Tourists” coffee cup and the CD “Make Iceland Affordable Again” with hit songs like ‘Is there refill with the coffee?’, ‘Could I have more fries?’ and ‘The road to Costco.’