Last year, I went and spent a week in Iceland. Things were hyped up in 2015 and 2016 over Iceland. Tourists were arriving in the thousands.....Icelandic folks were complaining about the huge numbers....hotels were filled up....and there was this thrill in the air of tourist income and tax revenue.
Well....we are in the midst of the 2017 tourist season in Iceland, and things have drifted to the south. Fewer tourists than in 2016.
The Grapevine (one of the few English news media sites of the country) covered this topic. There is some identifiable trend with tourism into Iceland decreasing. 2015 and 2016 were major years for the tourism trade in Iceland.
What is said about the blame here is that the local currency....the Krona....has gone up by 10-percent in the last year. So, whatever currency that you had...it was more expensive to get a room....to buy a beer....to eat some marginal tourist food....and to pay for fuel for your rental car.
I sat and thought about this logic answer.
The truth is....Iceland was already one of the most expensive places in the world. Everything....from an espresso, to gas, and just a plain beer....was more than what you'd pay in most other countries. If you figured spending a thousand Euro in Ireland....you could boost that to 1,250 Euro for Iceland. That's all before the Krona gained in cost.
The worry here by Iceland hotels and tourist 'magnets'? Well....what if 25-percent of the people who came in 2016 (one-million-plus) didn't come? What if this 2015 and 2016 were the peak years?
A half-liter of Icelandic beer (not the import stuff)? It's in the $10 range, which would typically freak out a fair number of people (1,100 Kr).
For my trip last year onto the isle....I ended up on Route One (the ring-road) to being at a new Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon. It was newly open hotel, and the only hotel for roughly an hour in either direction. At that point, you had to pay in the 240 Euro range (a lot). It's selling point is that it's the only hotel next to the glacier. Today? I doubt if you can get a room for less than 300 Euro. Whoever funded the construction....probably planned back in 2013....is sitting there and depending on significant numbers of tourists.
So when cancellations are talked about with the hotels and people start to worry about the tourist trend...my line of thought is that there is only a certain group of people who want the Iceland experience. These are people who who've seen the pictures.....know about the limited landscape....realize that it's mostly just a hyped-up volcanic isle, and seek some solitude (something you can't find in Hawaii, Italy, or New York City).
That group of people....worldwide....made their adventure in 2015 and 2016.....and there's just not that many more people left with the Icelandic dream in their mind. Maybe there is a peak and Iceland is about to discover that.