According to a new forecast by Íslandsbanki, 2.3 million tourists will visit Iceland this year, representing a 30 percent increase from last year, RÚV reports.
The bank predicts that close to half of Iceland’s foreign earnings will be tourist-related. The tourism industry keeps increasing its share in the economy.
As an example, Icelandic car rentals purchased 42 percent of all new vehicles in Iceland last year, more than 9,000 of them, for the amount of ISK 30 billion (USD 275 million, EUR 260 million). Total income from the rental of Airbnb apartments last year is estimated at ISK 6.7 billion (USD 61 million, EUR 58 million).
The number of tourists in Iceland has rapidly increased in recent years, from less than half a million in 2010 to a million in 2014, and 1.8 million last year. Thus, it has more than tripled in six years. The increase this year to 2.3 million is predicted despite the strong Icelandic króna.
Income from tourism this year is expected to reach about ISK 560 billion (USD 5.1 billion, EUR 4.9 billion), or 45 percent of Iceland’s foreign income.