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This country is now the world's dearest tourist destination

And it’s affecting arrivals into the recent tourist hotspot

For a few years now, Iceland has been one of the hottest destinations for Australian travellers. It’s been especially popular with those who don't have a budget. And that’s an important footnote, as Iceland is now the world’s priciest destination.


The Blue Lagoon thermal pool (Image Shutterstock)


According to Bloomberg, the appreciation of the krona, which has risen more than 40% against the euro since its 2009 all-time low, has turned the Scandinavian nation into the most expensive tourist destination.


And this development has prompted a leading bank to even declare that "the tourism boom is over".


"The tide is turning," Icelandic Travel Industry Association spokesperson Skapti Orn Olafsson told Bloomberg.


"There's been a slowdown in the growth of tourists, but what is more serious is that travel companies are starting to experience a contraction."


Iceland’s central bank has also pointed to a reduction in flights to capital Reykjavik by European airlines in a recent financial report.


Though only time will tell if this slowing down turns into a real tourism recession or the boom simply doesn't bust.


"I have been in this business for 40 years and I am very optimistic and don't see any signs of a collapse," Hotel Hallormsstadur owner Thrainn Larusson said.


"The industry is simply reshaping a bit."


Iceland will also be hoping its presence in the World Cup will help; a draw with football heavyweights Argentina, certainly wouldn’t have harmed its image.


"Iceland is stepping on the big stage this summer," said Olafsson, so "we surely have a clear shot on goal to use the attention in a positive way."


Have you/your clients travelled to Iceland? How expensive did you/they find it?


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 20 June 2018

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