Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Travel

Fewer foreign travellers visiting Eastfjords, as visitors taking shorter trips during Iceland stay

By Staff

  • The dramatic east The Eastfjords are remote, but magnificient. GVA

At the same time as the number of foreign travellers visiting Iceland keeps growing fewer travellers are visiting the Westfjords and Eastfjords. The reason is believed to be changing travel patterns of foreign visitors. The appreciation of the Icelandic currency, the Króna, has raised the cost of visiting Iceland in Dollars or Euros, forcing visitors to stay for a shorter period and taking shorter trips while in Iceland. 

Read more: Despite dramatic growth in tourism in Iceland, fewer people visit the magnificent Westfjords

Hotels and restaurants in East Iceland have noticed a clear drop in the number of foreign travellers this summer. People in the tourism industry in the Westfjords have also noted a drop in the number of visitors, and those who do come seem to be spending less. Hotels in the Westfjords have received cancelations and some companies are laying off people. The Director of Visit East Iceland told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV that the tourism industry in East Iceland has taken a similar hit.

Restaurants combat rising exchange rate by lowering prices
A director of a hotel in the Eastfjords told the local newspaper Fréttablaðið that overnight stays at his hotel this May saw a dramatic decrease of 30-35% compared to last year. He, and other hotel and restaurant operators in the region have responded by trying to lower prices, but he fears that these actions will not manage to offset the effects of the rising exchange rate of the Icelandic Króna, which raises all prices for foreign visitors.

The scale of the problem is unknown, as the figures for overnight hotel stays for May have not been published. It is therefore not clear whether other regions in Iceland are experiencing a similar development. People in the tourism industry suspect that fewer foreign visitors are spending less time in Iceland, forcing them to skip destinations further away from Reykjavík. 

Iceland Magazine has also heard that some companies offering longer glacier hikes and tours in the Central Highlands are seeing fewer travellers.

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