The first route from Iceland to Israel introduced

wow gma Friðrik Örn Hjaltested

Starting next fall, four weekly flights will be made between Tel Aviv and Reykjavik. However, it seems that tourists from Israel are less likely to stay in Iceland‘s capital compared to visitors from other countries.
The Icelandic low-cost airline WOW air will make its first scheduled flight to Tel Aviv on September 12th granting both Icelanders and Israelis the chance of direct flight between the two countries for the first time. The new route also opens up the possibility of connecting flights from Tel Aviv to many destinations in the US and Canada. Ticket sales have begun with the cheapest tickets from Tel Aviv to Iceland at 99 USD and 149 USD for flights to New York, Washington and Boston. Flights from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami start at 199 USD but since WOW air is a low-cost airline prices exclude checked baggage, seat reservation, food etc.

The Icelandic tourism sector has grown exponentially in the past few years with an increase between years measured in tens of percents. However, judging from guest night figures there has been little or no change in the number of Israeli visitors in the past three years. Each year, Israeli tourists account for 33 thousand guest nights in Icelandic accommodations with a vast majority during the summer months. During this same period wintertime tourism has increased substantially and for example more British tourists visit Iceland in February than in June and July combined.

Israeli visitors to Iceland also follow an unusual pattern since only a fifth of their guest nights are spent at Reykjavik hotels while on average half of all guest nights are spent in Reykjavik. Instead tourists from Israel flock to hotels along Iceland’s southern coast which accommodate one in three Israelis whereas this portion is at one in five when considering all other demographics.

The Icelandic króna has grown considerably in value in the past years which means that traveling in Iceland has become more expensive. On the positive side, according to our survey, car rental prices have been decreasing in spite of all this. And for Israelis who plan to visit Iceland the good news is that accommodation on the southern coast is noticeably cheaper than in Reykjavik.