Glacial Flood Impacts Tourism Less Than Expected Skip to content

Glacial Flood Impacts Tourism Less Than Expected

By Iceland Review

While travel agents in south Iceland were hit by a wave of cancelations of bookings immediately after a glacial flood disrupted the Ring Road on Friday night, they have since slowed down. Overall, the impact on the tourist industry was not as bad as feared.


Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“The chaos the first days after the flood cost us a lot,” commented Jón Grétar Ingvason who runs the guesthouse Klausturhof and the café Kaffi Munkar in Kirkjubaejarklaustur, to Fréttabladid.

Sixty to 100 people canceled their bookings with him after the flood hit, most of whom were traveling around the country on buses, which can neither take advantage of the river transport nor handle the rough highland route Fjallabaksleid.

The operators of larger hotels and guesthouses on either side of Múlakvísl are not as gloomy. They say circumstances change quickly and that they have to work according to nature’s whims.

At Hotel Klaustur in Kirkjubaejarklaustur all rooms were full yesterday. The hotel has participated in a so-called “guest exchange”, that is, the travelers who intended to stay in Vík but couldn’t cross Múlakvísl when river transport stopped after the accident yesterday spent the night there, while those who had intended to stay in Kirkjubaejarklaustur ended up staying in Vík.

Steinthór Vigfússon, manager of Hotel Dyrhólaey to the west of Múlakvísl, said groups stick to their travel plans more so than individuals. “They arrive later than scheduled as the trip across Fjallabak takes six hours instead of one across Múlakvísl.”

The hotel’s service hours have been changed to cope with the circumstances: breakfast starts at 6 am instead of 7 am and dinner is served until midnight.

“[On Monday evening] a group of Spaniards arrived here. They were content because they’re used to having dinner late,” Vigfússon stated.

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