More than 700,000 international tourists visited Iceland in 2021, compared to 2020 figures, during which year the Nordic country welcomed 486,000 international travellers, according to a report published by Morgunblaðið.
The same source reveals that in 2019, before the Coronavirus outbreak, there were over 2 million international visitors in Iceland, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In this regard, the head of the Icelandic Tourist Board (Ferðamálastofa), Skarphéðinn Steinarsson, has stressed that the number of businesses in the travel sector didn’t make a significant change during last year, adding that few companies in the travel sector faced difficulties such as suspension of payments last year, while a third of the companies returned a profit in 2020.
“2020 was expected to be terrible, but the situation isn’t any worse than this. On the other hand, debts are increasing, and owners’ equity is decreasing,” he pointed out.
Steinarsson emphasized that “there has not been any consolidation to speak of, and the number of companies is still well over 2,000 — most of them very small ones….” adding that as a result, “the development that was expected hasn’t begun.”
However, according to a report published by Visir, the number of tourists in Iceland during this year is expected to double, and the country would welcome 1.3 million tourists, while in 2023, the number could be 1.5 million. As reported by Islandsbanki, the figures are based on the fact that the country is highly popular among international travellers.
According to a previous report of the accounting company, KPMG published in 2020, that problems in Iceland’s travel industry would be addressed in 2021.
Based on the figures provided by Statistics Iceland, in the first month of last year, a total of 4.8 million overnight stays were sold in Iceland, which shows that it marked a 47 per cent increase compared to 2020 figures.
Previously, in a report published by High North News, over 75,000 tourists visited Iceland in November 2021, translating into twenty times more than November 2020 figures.
From the start of 2021 until the end of November, nearly 623,000 tourists visited the country. The same showed that nearly two million travellers visited Iceland in 2019.
The spread of the Coronavirus and its new variants also affected the travel and tourism industry in Iceland due to restrictions imposed by the country’s authorities to halt the further spread of the Coronavirus and its new strains.