Thousands of jobs in the growing tourism industry in Iceland will need to be filled by foreign workers, according to Edward H. Huijbens, professor at the University of Akureyri and director of the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre.
“It is clear to me that if visitors continue to increase as forecasts suggest, which all predictions indicate, it will be necessary to bring in a considerable amount of workers to meet the demand,” he said.
According to a report from Landsbanki, the number of jobs in tourism has increased from 9,200 in 2008 to 14,600 in 2014. The number of visitors to Iceland is expected to increase from 1.17 million in 2015 to 1.34 million in 2016 and 1.45 million in 2017. Within seven years, the number of tourists could total 2 million, Vísir reports.
Many foreigners are already employed in Iceland’s tourism industry. According to a 2008 study conducted by the University of Iceland for the Directorate of Labor, two thirds of tourism companies in Iceland employ foreign workers.