In a new forecast by Icelandair, 50 percent more tourists will arrive to the country with the airline in April this year than in the same month in 2010 and 15 percent more than in April 2009. The airline also predicts a 15-20 percent year-over-year increase in the spring and summer months.
It can therefore be assumed that 75,000-100,000 more foreign visitors will come to Iceland this year than in 2010 and that the total number of foreign visitors will be up to 600,000, which would be the largest year in the history of the country’s travel industry, Morgunbladid reports.
If the prediction is correct, the additional foreign currency earnings could amount to ISK 30 billion (USD 265 million, EUR 183 million).
A statement from Icelandair says that the year-over-year increase can be explained by the airline’s marketing initiatives, and the joint travel industry marketing initiative ‘Inspired by Iceland’, but also because the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull caused a number of tourists to cancel their bookings in April and May last year.
However, the increase in bookings in April this year is also significant compared to 2009. “This is pleasing now that one year has passed since the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull began,” CEO of Icelandair Birkir Hólm Gudnason said in the statement, adding, “Our long-term goal is to emphasize winter tourism.”