As we teeter on the crest of the tourism wave, all eyes are on Iceland’s two major airlines, WOW Air and Icelandair. Fuel prices, overestimating the number of tourists coming to Iceland, and a lack of initiative from management have been troubling both airlines, but WOW has the additional problem of searching for investors. Icelanders appear to be less concerned about the effects this may have on tourism, and more concerned with the rippling effects this could have through the rest of the economy. After all, you can’t sell hotel rooms and restaurant meals to people who aren’t here.
Speaking of which, Reykjavík restaurants are plagued by the forces of nature. And by that we mean both an overcrowded market and poor weather. The restaurant Nora was forced to close due to the unusually cold and rainy summer we have had, and Hótel Holt is currently searching for someone else to run their restaurant. An untold number of other restaurants have had to close for similar reasons. Perhaps this is what capitalists mean when they talk about “how much the market can bear.”
Not to ignore the countryside, fish farming is proving to be a highly controversial topic, especially in the Westfjörds. Residents of Ísafjörður are currently debating whether or not to build a larger fish farm there, and the debate is far from simple. Of particular concern is the impact farmed fish that manage to escape their nets will have on aquatic wildlife, while defenders of fish farms contend this is not a large cause for alarm, and that fish fugitives are uncommon. Some have even proposed fish farms on dry land. How will that work out? Only time will tell.
Continuing on the rural front, Icelanders around the country have been plagued by a series of break-ins, wherein the thieves use a signature MO: knocking on doors. If someone answers, the would-be burglars say they’re looking for accommodation. If no one answers, then they break in, stealing cash and jewelry. Reports of this MO have come in from all corners of the country. A father and son have been arrested as the main, and perhaps only, perpetrators in these burglaries. Boldly, the son in this case continued breaking into homes even after his arrest. Presumably, they will soon be put in jail to stop their compulsive crime wave.