Increased optimism seems to prevail among foreign travel wholesalers, who offer trips to Iceland, according to a new survey conducted by Business Iceland in June. 31% of respondents said bookings for trips to Iceland have already started to pick up and another 39% believe that it will happen in the summer or autumn. 58% believe that bookings for trips to Iceland in 2022 will be comparable to before borders began to close.
Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, Director of Tourism at Business Iceland, says that the results of the survey certainly give cause for optimism, but it also indicates that the tourism industry in Iceland will struggle with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for some time.
"It is positive that bookings seem to be taking off and that one-fifth of respondents say that their customers have already started travelling to Iceland. About a quarter, however, do not expect to receive any bookings this year and more than 30% say they do not anticipate that their customers will start travelling to Iceland until next year. So we need to be realistic and keep expectations moderate. It is also clear that the competition between destinations is intensifying as the willingness to travel increases and we will have to make an effort."
The results of the survey indicate that bookings from North America are coming in earlier than from other key markets and that the development there could be slower than in local markets, i.e. the Nordic countries, central and southern Europe and the UK. The survey also indicates that distant markets will take much longer to recover.
Sigríður Dögg says that Business Iceland closely monitors developments in the main market areas and adapts measures in accordance with developments there.
"We are now benefitting from the fact that Iceland was ahead of most other countries in easing travel restrictions, and on 24 June a new campaign was launched under the marketing initiative “Looks like you need Iceland” that will run until the beginning of September."