Traditionally, Iceland has been one of Europe’s priciest vacation destinations. However, following the recent financial collapse, vacationing in Iceland has become much more affordable. Since the financial crisis, the Icelandic króna is worth less than half its value a year ago, which, as economics tells us, increases the value of other currencies being used in that country. Some multi-night deals are starting at $400, a sign of both the depressed Icelandic economy as well as the desire of attracting foreign currency in order to help jump-start the economy.

Iceland’s tourism board is playing up the natural features of Iceland as a means to snag more tourists. Einar Gustavsson, head of Iceland’s Tourist Board in New York, sells the landscape: “You think the geysers, bubbling hot springs, raging rivers, the country's 10,000 waterfalls and its spectacular scenery look any different in a depressed economy? We think not.” Additionally, Iceland is only a 6-hour flight from New York.

Although prices will likely rise as tourists continue to exploit the incredible value that they find in Iceland, government officials are not discounting the transformation of tourism into a long-term powerhouse industry for Iceland. One government official claims that tourism now stands as a “pillar of the future” for Iceland. For more on tourism, check out the hospitality and travel industry page on globalEDGE!

The financial crisis has shown Iceland how vulnerable it is to the whims of the market. Following its economic collapse, Icelandic officials have vowed to diversify the industries of the country by further utilizing its vast natural resources (tourism is one way they are doing this). Iceland has learned not to put all of its eggs in one basket. Perhaps the rest of the world will learn and make sure their infrastructure is diversified as well.

For more on this story, check out the full article in USA Today!

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