Tourism to Iceland has skyrocketed during the last years, and is now a major source of employment in the country.
Of all tourism industry workers in Iceland, about 6,000 are foreigners. Due to the limited size of Iceland’s population (app 332,500) and the rapid expansion of the tourism industry, new positions will mostly have to be filled by foreign workers, and it is predicted that as much as 40 per cent of Iceland’s tourism industry workers will come from abroad, both this year and the next.
For the last twelve months, from May 2015 to April 2016, there were 3,095,600 overnight stays in hotels , which is an increase of about 27 per cent compared with the previous year. Foreign tourists account for more than 83 per cent of the stays, Statistics Iceland reports.
Iceland‘s GDP is expected to grow by 4.3 per cent in 2016 due to strong private consumption and investment, according to Statistics Iceland.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: The environmental and social impacts of Arctic tourism, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Arctic Finland looks for boost from Chinese tourists, Yle News
Greenland: Blog – Greenland pioneers Arctic tourism & mining, Cryopolitics
Norway: Russia boosts tourism on Svalbard, Norway, Barents Observer
Russia: Currency drama has little impact on tourism in Barents region, Barents Observer
United States: Alaska cultural tourism comes with challenges, Alaska Dispatch News