Lonely Planet Names Iceland Economical Destination Skip to content

Lonely Planet Names Iceland Economical Destination

Lonely Planet, the world’s leading publisher in travel guides, named Iceland, followed by London and Thailand, as the most economical tourist destination next year in its latest travel guide, Best in Travel 2010.

Traveling in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

The economic collapse in Iceland means the island is no longer punitively expensive, the guide says in explanation of why Iceland now ranks at the top of its best-value list, AFP reports.

“Have you always wanted to discover this magical, mysterious country? To explore ice caps and volcanoes, and wallow in hot springs? Been put off because of the prohibitive prices? Well, 2010 is your year,” the guide reads.

Erna Hauksdóttir, managing director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association, told visir.is that it has great significance for the local tourist industry that Lonely Planet named Iceland as an economical choice for travelers.

“We could really use such great promotion,” Hauksdóttir said. “It is of course a huge publisher so millions of people read these books and it may very well be that new markets for the Icelandic tourist industry are opening up.”

Hauksdóttir said it looks as if the number of tourists visiting Iceland this year will be similar to last year, around 500,000. However, the number of people attending conferences in Iceland has dropped.

Fewer British tourists traveled to Iceland in 2009 than 2008 but the number of tourists from central Europe has increased considerably.

Hauksdóttir said she is optimistic for next year. However, it is becoming more difficult to estimate the number of tourists planning to come to Iceland because people book their trips with a much shorter notice now than they used to.

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