Tourism has been driving the economic growth in Iceland for the past years and each year the number of visitors has grown by 20 and up to 40 percent. 2017 will be no different with almost 2.2 million visitors compared with only 460.000 in 2010. But next year the growth is expected to be much less according to a forecast published by The Icelandic airport authorities.
This is a positive development according to Skapti Ólafsson, spokesperson for the The Icelandic Travel Industry Association. “The estimate expects an increase in tourist numbers by 11%, from 2.2 million to 2.5 million, with off-peak growth relatively higher than during the summer months. In this way, the seasonal difference seems to be slowly leveling out. That is good news since the most important task for us operating in the travel industry has been working towards a more even distribution of visitors throughout the year.”
But even though the number of tourists in Iceland will increase at a more moderate pace, both United and American Airlines will start flying to Iceland this coming summer. Making Iceland the only Nordic market with all the 3 big US airlines. Additionally, this winter both British Airways and easyJet are offering more flights than ever before to Iceland from the UK. Seeing as the USA and the UK are by far the biggest markets for Icelandic tourism, the two countries account for 4 out of 10 tourists in Iceland this year, it is safe to say that Iceland is still a pretty hot destination.