News 2011

November 2011

Micro conference on the role of critical research in tourism

End October the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre hosted a one hour micro conference at the University of Iceland’s main auditorium. Six academic speakers were allocated the task of giving five minutes presentation each without any slides. The topic for each speaker was an issue of critical concern for tourism development in Iceland. Talks about; image and marketing campaigns and their content and success criteria, possible overinvestment in accommodation, knowledge of environmental impacts, the role of research in planning and what critical research is about were given. Over 120 people turned out for the event with representatives from both industry and government and a critical dialogue ensued between the audience and the speakers.


September 2011

ITRC opening keynote at ATLAS

The director of the ITRC was invited to open the 20th Anniversary ATLAS - The Association for Tourism and Leisure Education, conference in Valmiera, Latvia, 21st September. The conference theme was on the dualistic relationship of landscapes and tourism. The opening address dealt with the landscape imagery of Iceland produced under the terms of a recent marketing campaign entitled: Inspired by Iceland, by Promote Iceland. The landscape imagery is associated with hospitality and what an invitation to be inspired might possibly entail. The address can be read in full here.  


August 2011

More visitors, same revenue?

The Icelandic Tourism Research Centre has now published an overview of the key economic indicators for tourism in Iceland. The overview is based on an analysis of existing data that has been gathered in the tourism satellite accounts of Statistics Iceland, the Icelandic Central Bank and the Icelandic Tourism Board. The analysis provided in the overview is merely a comparison of this data. A more comprehensive and in-depth analysis of this gathered data is urgently needed to e.g. better understand the productivity of tourism in a national and regional context. The ITRC has put forth an 8 year research programme wherein the emphasis in researching the economic impact of tourism is outlined, but no funding has come in support of this.

The indicators here published in Icelandic show that in the last 10 years the annual increase in visitation is 6,6%, which is close to the 6,4% average for the period 1960-2010. The indicators also show that the increase in revenue generated from visitors has exceeded growth in visitors numbers by 1,2% in the last 20 years, which is an increase from the average of 1960-2004 which showed 0,5% excess in revenue growth as compared to visitation numbers. However the average revenue generated by each visitor, calculated from their length of stay, seems to remain the same year after year. This is e.g. one of the topics that needs further research.


July 2011

Statistics about Cruise ships in Iceland

The Icelandic Tourism Research Centre has compiled detailed statistics on cruise ship arrivals in Icelandic ports based on primary data from each of the port reported. The focus is on the period 2000 till 2010 and as the figures show, passenger numbers have almost trebled in this period, judging from figures from the port of Reykjavík only. All larger cruise ships that arrive in Iceland have Reykjavík as their port of call, but these same ships might also visit other ports around the island. Germans, people from the United States and the United Kingdom make for the bulk of cruise passengers.

Figures and graphs with all the statistics can be downloaded here. But the primary data can be obtained from the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre.



May 2011

Icelandair supports the ITRC library

Icelandair has generously supported the operations of the ITRC through funding book purchases. With their support 11 books on the economic impact of tourism and how it can be researched and understood were bought. These books add to the expanding library of the ITRC, which currently holds one of the largest collection of tourism academic literature in Iceland.

The focus of the books purchased reflects the importance of understanding the economic impact of tourism on the national economy, regional economies and the economic dynamics of individual destinations. The ITRC has developed a comprehensive research programme in this field but due to funding constraints the research has not been followed through in any coherent manner. This is a pity as with this support from Icelandair and the facilities at the ITRC all conditions are ripe for this research.  

The books purchased with support from Icelandair are:

  • The Economics of Tourism e. Reece  
  • The Economics of Tourism Destinations, Second Edition  
  • The Economics of Tourism, 2nd Edition e. Stabler, Papatheodorou, Sinclair  
  • Advances in Modern Tourism Research: Economic Perspectives
  • Statistics: The Exploration & Analysis of Data  
  • Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development: Macroeconomic Models and Empirical Methods (The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (Feem) Series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development)
  • Tourism and the Economy: Understanding the Economics of Tourism
  • Forecasting Tourism Demand
  • Measuring the Economic Importance of the Meetings Industry - Developing a Tourism Satellite Account Extension
  • Enzo Paci Papers on Measuring the Economic Significance of Tourism Vol. 5 (Tourism Satellite Account Implementation Project)
  • Survey Research and Analysis: Applications in Parks, Recreation and Human Dimensions

The staff at the ITRC gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Icelandair.



March 2011

Images of North Iceland - a travel conference

Monday the 28th of February a conference on the image of North Iceland was held in Akureyri. Chairing the conference was the director of the ITRC, but amongst keynote speakers were the minister of finance for Iceland, Simon Calder a travel editor for the Independent, John Strickland and Kati Liikonen. They presented their experience of the region and compared and contrasted with regions around the world to give food for thought for those tourism stakeholders present on how to further develop their tourism product. After the keynote speaker session a work session was held were 14 tables were set up with eight persons on each. Their task was to deal with the questions: What is the current image of North Iceland? What would we like it to be? And how do we get there?

The conference is part of a greater process of marketing North Iceland for the benefits of direct scheduled international flights to Akureyri airport. The ITRC has for the last two summers surveyed departing passengers with foreign passports from Akureyri. The report from the 2010 survey has just been published and is now for sale through the ITRC for 50.000 ISK, but is only available in Icelandic. The survey findings are reflected through a discussion on the development of air transport and the role of airports globally and specifically in Europe. The current changes in air transportation might present opportunities to the North of Iceland, but some challenges are on the way. One of those is the question of what is to be marketed and what is the tourism product. The conference was part of the process of dealing with these challenges.  

Images of North Iceland - programme


January 2011

The impact of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption on tourism travel patterns in Iceland

The Icelandic Tourism Research Centre has published a report on the impact of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption on travel patterns in Iceland. The report details the findings of a survey undertaken in the summer of 2009 amongst tourists in Iceland. The focus was on their travel patterns and their experiences of the eruption. The report can be downloaded here for free.