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Iceland tourist traffic March 2010


As of March, foreign arrivals to Iceland were 26,604 which is 21.8% higher than same month last year. The volcanic eruption was quite the attraction and should be so even now. There is really no need to be wary of volcanoes; they are something to experience firsthand! Consider overnight stays in the South where Icelandic ‘tourist’ overnights shoot up from 4,660 in February to 7,661 in March. If we aren’t afraid of the volcanoes, why should anyone else? After all, we’ve lived with these monsters for millennia. In addition, we have utmost faith in the public safety system so there is really little danger.

March 2009 saw 3,253 foreigner overnights in the South; this year, they are 4,268. Has anyone been harmed by the eruption? No, not even livestock. As long as people follow public safety instructions, traveling by taxi to the airport in order to get to Iceland in the first place is more dangerous than watching this volcano or nay other for that matter. Some of the world’s leading seismology experts come from this Arctic island, which makes it possibly one of the safest spots in the world where to experience volcanic activity firsthand. Missing out on the opportunity to do so would be a shame.

The only problem may be getting stuck here if airlines are grounded due to ash emissions, but then again, you might as well get stuck in Scotland or someplace else. Given the rate of the ISK (local currency), getting stuck here is cheaper and provides the unique opportunity to visit the source of that ash cloud with your own eyes. You can even charter a plane and get a bird’s view of this great eruption; here the low ISK rate comes into play.

We urge tourist to experience this natural phenomenon personally. This may be a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do so in an environment where the world’s leading experts make sure there will be no danger to anyone. Here at our office, we’re barely aware of the volcano as we have other things to think about; that should give some indication as to how worried we are. We’ve experienced several eruptions and basically consider them a cool item to put on the tourist agenda. Are we worried that Katla may burst into activity? Not at all; we can’t wait for it to happen IF it happens. We like volcanic activity and the more the better. After all, seeing pillars of smoke rise high into the air is surreal. This is power beyond imagination. We are thrilled to live in such a lively environment.

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