Tuesday Briefing: Keep Keeping an Eye on Iceland

Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre Christmas Market
The most recent Christmas Market Under the Northern Lights at the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre // Photo by Canopy by Hilton

Looking for a hot destination to recommend to travelers? Iceland continues to draw interest with a new report from hotel consultancy HVS showing that arrivals to the country are continuing to boom

Arrivals to the country’s Keflavik International Airport grew 34 percent year over year through October 2016, the latest period for which data was available, capping a run of growth that began in 2010 when media coverage of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption and the depreciation of the destination’s currency sparked interest in travel to Iceland as an affordable, off-the-beaten-path getaway. According to the HVS report, that interest has since translated into strong hotel growth, with room supply increasing 11 percent between 2010 and 2015, or 6 percent in the capital of Reykjavik alone. 

Many of the new hotels are from Millennial-friendly lifestyle hotel brands, such as the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre, which opened this past summer. Like many new boutique hotel brands it draws inspiration from local architecture and emphasizes locally-inspired dishes in its food and beverage offerings. 

Iceland is drawing a great deal of interest from luxury travelers as well. In Virtuoso’s most recent survey of its Virtuoso Active and Specialty Travel (VAST) agents, the country was named the top adventure travel destination, beating out Galapagos/Ecuador and Costa Rica

Air travel to Iceland is continuing to grow, too, with Finnair launching a new route to Reykjavik earlier this year

The HVS report comes as travelers and travel agents are taking stock of what destinations will be on the rise in the New Year. We just published a look at the top destinations to watch in Mexico, including San José del Cabo and Baja California. Next week, stay tuned for our Trending Destinations Special Report, which will highlight top up-and-coming destinations around the world. 

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