Published on : Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Iceland is seen currently as one of the hottest European destinations. This sparsely populated country has suddenly caught the interest of many enthusiastic travelers, especially the young brigade and has become an exotic spot. Social media is flooded with images of this beautiful destination and it’s being projected as a must-visit destination. So far this year, around 1.61 million people have traveled to Iceland, which is three times from the figure of 2010. By New Year, this number is expected to reach 2 million.
This tourist expansion has a lot to do with the Americans. The largest portion of tourists to Iceland comes from the US. Around 325,000 Americans have visited Iceland so far in 2016, which this year is expected to surpass Iceland’s current population of 332,000.
Many Americans are planning a future trip in this country, for New Year’s vacations.
There’s an increase in searches for Iceland’s hotels and flights. A volcano named Eyjafjallajökull erupted in southern Iceland in 2010, which shut down European air industry for a week and made global headlines.
That time Iceland’s tourism industry and economy was going through a slump, but the country’s tourist board had a great idea of seizing that incident as an opportunity to attract tourists. They made promotional videos and campaigns on social media and tourism started looking up. Registered tour operators also increased in the country.
Airbnb and Vrbo rentals sprang up in downtown Reykjavik with airfares becoming a lot cheaper. Before 2012, Icelandair, the most popular airline only operated in six major US hubs with expensive fares, but post 2012, Iceland-based WOW Air started offering cheap flights from Europe to Iceland and in 2015, it expanded to North America.
Flights from the US to Iceland are much low now. This resulted in influx of American tourists to Iceland. Iceland is also one of the safest countries of the world, devoid of terror attacks. Recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels prompted many Americans to flock to Iceland instead.
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