There are indications that the foreign exchange earnings in relation to tourism increased significantly last year in comparison to 2008, around 20 percent, as stated by director general of the Icelandic Tourist Board, Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir.
Traveling in Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Atladóttir said that according to the calculations of Statistics Iceland, it appears as if the foreign currency earnings will be ISK 155 billion (USD 1.2 billion, EUR 860 million) in 2009, as opposed to ISK 109 billion (USD 860 million, EUR 610 million) in 2008, Morgunbladid reports.
Official numbers show that departures of foreign commuters at Keflavík International Airport decreased by 1.7 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year.
However, the purpose of their visit is not taken into account and these statistics include foreign laborers, whose number has decreased significantly between years.
There are indications that the number of foreign tourists has in fact increased, especially considering that passengers of cruise ships—whose number increased by 16 percent between years—are not included in these calculations.
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