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.
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?
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