SOURCE: Visit Iceland

Visit Iceland

April 13, 2011 10:07 ET

What a Difference a Year Makes in Iceland

Eyjafjallajokull Eruption Brings Increased Prosperity; First Quarter 2011 Tourism Increases 33 Percent

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND--(Marketwire - Apr 13, 2011) - "What a difference a year makes," says Sif Gustavsson, Area Manager of North America for Visit Iceland.

"This week marks the one year anniversary of the notorious Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption that wreaked major havoc on spring travel. Now it turns out the volcano has been a blessing for Iceland in terms of increased tourism. The media attention really put Iceland on the map and now travelers are coming to experience our raw and awesome nature for themselves."

The Eyjafjallajokull eruption drew thousands of volcano-tourists and created an economic windfall for Iceland. At the one-year anniversary of the event on April 14, the island nation in the North Atlantic is reporting a significant upside to the world-famous, if unpronounceable, natural disaster.

Tourism reaped enormous benefits with a hotbed of new volcano tours, new hotels, and a 33% increase of North American travelers for the first three months of 2011. Escorted tours and guided volcano excursions in specially modified "super jeeps" reveal the eruption's dramatic aftermath in the natural oasis that lies just behind the volcano. Helicopter tours provide a bird's eye view of the volcano and an added thrill for passengers.

The volcano tourism experience includes a new visitors center at Thorvaldseyri Farm at the base of the volcano (www.thorvaldseyri.is) that depicts what the unbridled, breathtaking power of an erupting volcano can do in a short time to its surroundings.

Adds Visit Iceland's Sif Gustavsson, "And if volcanoes aren't your forte, there's ample opportunity for travelers to interact with Iceland's geothermal wonders including our amazing geological parks, exploding geysers and of course taking a dip in one of our 800 natural hot springs."

She adds that these active volcanoes in Iceland create the geothermal heating that provides the clean, alternative energy resources the country is also famous for.

Iceland is served in the U.S. by three international carriers: Icelandair (icelandair.com); IcelandExpress (icelandexpress.com); and Delta (delta.com).

To order or immediately download a free travel guide to visiting Iceland, complete with photographs, maps and lists of hotels, restaurants and guide services, log onto: VisitIceland.org

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Sif Gustavsson
    Visit Iceland
    646 282 9361
    Email Contact

    Jamie Gribbon
    Blumenfeld and Assoc. PR
    203 655 1600
    Email Contact