More foreign tourists spent New Year’s Eve in Reykjavík than in previous years with almost all of the capital’s hotels fully booked, according to Erna Hauksdóttir, managing director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF).New Year's Eve 2012 in Reykjavík. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
“It was very lively,” Erna told Fréttablaðið of New Year’s in Reykjavík. “Perlan has always been full on New Year’s Eve but now many people also dined at restaurants in hotels and those that were open in town. A number of tourists joined bonfire tours and other activities on offer that night.”
In 2012, more foreign tourists visited Iceland than ever before. In the first 11 months of the year, 619,000 tourists had left Iceland via Keflavík International Airport, compared to 520,000 in the same period in 2011.
Erna said the increase in visitors over New Year’s can be explained by the same factor as the annual increase: the marketing initiative ‘Iceland – All Year Round.’
“Also, the foreign media has covered Iceland lately, the fireworks and the lively New Year’s Eve that we know,” she concluded.