Travel Companies Want to Offer Eruption Tours

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Travel Companies Want to Offer Eruption Tours

By Zoë Robert
White plume from the fissure in Holuhraun

Photo: Halldór Björnsson/Icelandic Met Office.

Travel companies offering tours in Iceland are looking into the possibility of adding organized tours to the eruption site in Holuhraun north of Vatnajökull glacier. They are waiting for the Department of Civil Protection to open more areas.

Arnheiður Jóhannsdóttir, managing director of the North Iceland Marketing Office, said in an interview with visir.is that foreign travel agencies have been asking about the possibility of arranging trips to the site.

“This is still just in the idea stage. However, we know that foreign companies are making a product out of the Holuhraun eruption and in cooperation with local actors they will bring tourists into the area as soon as it opens,” she said, stressing that the tourism industry will respect any closures of the area. 

Einar Pétur Heiðarsson, specialist at the Department of Civil Protection, said that the area is still considered too dangerous but the closures are under constant review. “For as long as scientists consider there to still be a risk of an eruption under the glacier, we believe that there are no grounds for lifting the closures of the area,” he said.

The road west of Dettifoss waterfall, Dettifossvegur, was reopened yesterday evening. The road had been closed since August 23. According to Arnheiður, the closure has had a big impact on the tourism industry because many companies had already sold trips to Dettifoss and Askja, resulting in them losing ISK 1-2 million (USD 8,500, EUR 6,500) per day through reimbursements.

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