Working It Out

iceland work week

A few years ago, Iceland instituted a four-day work week. It’s gone off without a hitch and everyone’s been happier since. At least that’s the story that has spread through foreign media outlets. The truth is much more complex. Firstly, it’s not a four-day work week, but a 4.5-day work week. Secondly, it technically only applies […]

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In Focus: Municipal Development

kerlingafjöll highland base

This summer, a new luxury hotel in Iceland opened for travellers. In addition to providing “deluxe rooms and luxury suites for lavish explorers,” the hotel also has a sleek, modern bistro with seating for 80, a luxury spa bath, and “alpine-style seating” with views of the surroundings. However, travellers from the capital area may have […]

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Another Record-Breaking June for Icelandic Tourism

tourists in reykavík

The latest numbers from Statistics Iceland show that June 2023 saw some 1,176,600 overnight stays in Iceland. This is a 17% increase from June 2022, which saw 1,012,300 overnight stays.

Of the total overnight hotel stays, foreign travellers accounted for 77% of the total, or 903,400. Domestic travellers accounted for 267,200 of these overnight stays.

Hotels and guesthouses accounted for some 703,000 or around 60% of total stays. 468,000 overnight stays, or around 40% of the June total, were registered in other accommodations, such as camp grounds and Airbnb apartments.

Airbnb alone is estimated to have accounted for 200,000 overnight stays last month.

Statistics Iceland notes that since last year, the supply of accommodation has remained more or less unchanged. The new 2023 June numbers show a 1.3% increase in occupancy rates across the nation.

So far, Iceland has seen just over 4 million overnight stays this year. The previous cumulative total for June was in 2018, with 3,534,000 accumulated overnight stays. This is a 15.5% increase from the previous record.

Statistics Iceland notes the following: "Due to abrupt changes in supply and occupancy rates, estimation for other types of accommodation than hotels is currently subject to a higher degree of uncertainty than usual and should therefore be taken with a special precaution until final numbers are available."

Proposal to Ban Sale of Greylag Geese

greylag goose iceland

The Ministry for the Environment, Energy, and Climate has published a draft amendment regarding bird hunting and the utilization of products from wild birds. It is available for comment on the government portal.

The proposed amendment aims to prohibit the unauthorized selling of grey geese and their products. It will also be prohibited to export them. However, the domestic sale of prepared geese will still be allowed.

In recent years, the population of grey geese has been declining, and the ministry’s proposal for a sales ban is intended to aid the recovery of the Icelandic population.

According to the draft amendment, the situation will be reassessed after a year, and if the decline in the population continues during that time, the duration of the hunting season for grey geese will be reconsidered. If there is an increase in the population, the need for an ongoing sales ban will be evaluated.

The Ministry for the Environment, Energy, and Climate emphasizes that violations of the regulation may result in fines or imprisonment of up to 2 years, as well as the revocation of hunting and firearms licenses.

The deadline for submitting comments is August 8th.

Litli-Hrútur Produced 30-50% Less Lava

2023 litli-hrútur eruption iceland

Last week, the Litli-Hrútur eruption produced around 30-50% less lava than the previous week. If this trend continues, the end of the eruption could be only one to two weeks away, reports RÚV.

According to vulcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson, the lava flow needs to rest at around three cubic metres per second in order to keep the eruption open. The lava flow has most recently been measured at five to six metres per second, and if the rate should fall further, the end of the eruption may be in sight.

Read More: Eruption Site Closed After 6:00 PM

Such predictions are of course to be taken with some reservation, but according to Þorvaldur, “measured against the recent changes last week, it could be just one or two weeks until the end of the eruption, maybe a bit longer.”

He continued: “These predictions are always somewhat uncertain since we of course don’t know what the future holds.” He also noted that an increase in the flow cannot be ruled out if for instance, a large earthquake should have an effect on the eruption.

The 2023 Litli-Hrútur eruption began with more power than the previous 2021 Geldingadalir and 2022 Meradalir eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula, at around 40 cubic metres per second. However, the volume quickly dropped off, measuring 16 cubic metres by the second day, and 10 cubic metres by the third day. Since then, it has steadily declined to the rate of five to six that we see today.

Þorvaldur stated to RÚV: “This eruption might last four to five weeks in total, which would be two weeks longer than the eruption last year but considerably shorter than the eruption in Geldingadalir 2021, as that eruption was rather exceptional.”

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