British travel agency Discover the World’s decision to scale back its offer of flights this summer between London and Egilsstaðir in East Iceland has been greeted with disappointment.
According to the director of Discover the World, British tourists hear almost exclusively about tourism and things to do in Southwest Iceland, meaning that demand has been poorer than hoped.
Discover the World will now offer nine round trip flights to Egilsstaðir in July and August only, instead of the planned 35 between May and September.
María Hjálmarsdóttir, a project manager at the Austurbrú development agency, has been working hard preparing for direct flights with London. She told RÚV: “It is clearly a great disappointment for East Iceland, and also for North Iceland. There is great focus on this area and on these direct flights. But we are by no means done with it. This is just the first stage of many!”
Clive Stacey, Director of Discover the World, says his company has invested heavily in promoting the flights and East Iceland as a destination, but says Britons seem to have other ideas of what they want to see in Iceland. Most British tourists are visiting Iceland for the first time, he says, and the things they most want to see are the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavík. There may be many other great attractions, but tourists don’t hear about them at home in the UK.
Clive agrees with María, however: this is just the first year and his company hopes to sell more seats to East Iceland in 2017.