Posted by: neilh10 | January 1, 2013

2013: An update

I’ve not really been posting on here with much frequency of late, but I do want to keep going with this blog and turn it in to something. Now in my fourth (calender) year, I have some more reflections.

Iceland is currently undergoing a significant expansion in its tourist industry and I can’t see it working out well. I can’t complain about it because I see myself as part of the problem: I’ve been flying to and from the country countless times, not really learning Icelandic, and contributing to the race to the bottom: 20 euro per day car hire and dirt cheap internet hotel deals. Even my own internet apartment rental business competes with established businesses (hotels etc) that actually employ people and play a meaningful role in the local community. It is a conflict that I feel really deeply, and the only real consolation is the fact that I am somehow helping to bring people in to a village that really needs people to use and support its services, to appreciate its beauty and to see it for something more than a ten minute pit stop on a grand Icelandic roadtrip in a rented jeep.

So, on balance, I still think that it is something that has a positive effect, something worth doing. Whilst I do look back on the kind of amateur tourist propoganda I was peddling two years ago with a sense of mild embarrassment, I don’t want to go to the other extreme and go all reclusive and anti tourist.

On reflection, I’ve found that as a tourist you can take quite simple steps to have a great time, meet local people and have a very positive influence while you are in Iceland. It’s really just your decision. As with so many things in life, you are either going to be a positive or a negative influence based on how you behave and the choices you make as a consumer. I don’t think there is much more to it than that.



  1. How do you think the locals in your village feel about all of this? Happy New Year…

  2. I can’t really speak for them, but for the most part tourism and tourists are welcomed. happy new year too.

  3. We visited Flateyri! It is a really nice village, can see why you like it there.

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