Arctic Adventures has acquired all shares of Kerfélagið, the main asset of which is Kerið in Grímsnes, a popular tourist destination in South Iceland. Viðskiptablaðið reports.
The tour operator bought the shares from Óskar Magnússon, Ásgeir Kristinsson, Sigurður Gísli Pálmason, and Jón Pálmason, who held a quarter stake in the company.
A natural gem
In a statement to the press, Óskar Magnússon, chairperson of Kerfélagið, stated that “everything has its time.” The company has owned Kerið for 23 years, he stated, but it is clear that the next phase of development in the area is approaching.
Óskar continued: “We consider this an opportune time to pass the torch so that new owners can build according to their vision. Arctic Adventures is a reliable and thriving company that will undoubtedly continue to enhance Kerið. At this juncture, we, as shareholders, have decided to establish a dedicated fund to support sustainable environmental protection in the spirit that has proven successful in the development of Kerið. We have had a unique collaboration with the farmers and other neighbours in the area. It is our firm belief and experience that this type of operation is best served with strong local involvement, as we have been fortunate to enjoy.”
In their announcement, Arctic Adventures stated that their policy is to offer sustainable and eco-friendly travel services. Among other destinations managed by the company are the Raufarhólshellir caves on the Reykjanes peninsula and “Into the Glacier,” a tunnel and popular tour destination in Langjökull glacier.
Ásgeir Baldur, CEO of Arctic Adventures, stated: “Kerið is one of the most remarkable natural gems in the country. We believe there are good opportunities for further development in the area, as well as ongoing nature conservation efforts. Kerið is on a popular route and accessible for longer or shorter sightseeing trips. We are pleased to have secured these acquisitions and are planning developments. Arctic Adventures is committed to environmental protection, and our relationship with nature is of utmost importance to us.”
Many of Iceland’s most popular tourist sites are located on privately owned land, though Icelandic law ensures that the public can access these areas. Other notable tourist destinations on privately owned land include Geysir, Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, and Reynisfjara beach.