Nearly 140,000 people have now downloaded their ISK 5,000 [$36; €33] summer travel voucher, over half of which (85,132) have been spent, in part or in full, around the capital area, RÚV reports. The vouchers, available to all adult residents of Iceland, are “first and foremost symbolic,” as Minister of Tourism Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir has noted, and are intended to encourage domestic travel this summer.
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According to information released by the Ministry of Industry and Innovation, 85,132 vouchers have been used thus far, amounting to ISK 369,517,444 [$2.7 million; €2.3 million] in spending within the local tourism industry. Around ISK 92 million [$676,421; €570,978] in vouchers have been redeemed in and around Reykjavík. By comparison, ISK 56 million [$411,704; €347,600] has been spent in South Iceland, ISK 48 million [$352,889; €297,942] in Northeast Iceland, ISK 35 million [$257277; €217,217] in East Iceland, and ISK 30 million [$220,539; €186,229] in West Iceland. Roughly ISK 71 million [$521,905; €440,742] has been spent with companies that have a nationwide presence.
From flight simulators to nature baths
One of the most popular things for people to spend their travel voucher on is hotel stays, with ISK 124 million [$911,429; €769,807] spent on in this sector. Close to 7,000 travel vouchers have been spent at the Íslandshótel chain operated by Icelandair.
Businesses classified as ‘recreation and entertainment’ have received a total of ISK 111 million [$815,996; €689,023]. The most popular choice in this sector has been Flyover Iceland, a flight simulator that takes visitors on a full-sensory flight over Iceland. Three thousand four hundred vouchers have been redeemed with the company, for a total of ISK 17 million [$124,917; €105,520]. The Blue Lagoon has been another popular choice, with 2,800 travel vouchers redeemed there. Further afield, the Vök Baths in East Iceland have gotten a lot of local visitors this summer (1,400 vouchers redeemed), as has the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon (1,200 vouchers redeemed).
Pizza still popular
Restaurants have also benefited from the travel voucher scheme, with ISK 102 million [$749,284; €633,111] invested in this industry. Five million krónur [$36,735; $31,037] has been spent on pizza alone; 1,000 vouchers have been spent at Dominos.