Time running out: 50,000 travel gifts still unclaimed
Everybody with an active kennitala who was born in or before 2002 was given an online voucher worth 5,000 krónur this summer. The taxpayer-funded ‘gifts’ from the national authorities can be used at a wide variety of travel and leisure related companies and were intended to support the tourism industry through its most challenging year.
The gifts can be used to pay for restaurant bills, hotels, hire cars, museum entry, and much more. All the details, including participating businesses, are on ferdalag.is and the personalised voucher itself is on island.is.
Around 173,000 people have already used their travel gifts, spending 600 million of the roughly one billion krónur set aside for the project. Around 50,000 gifts remain unopened and will be lost forever if not used by the 31st December.
Gifts so far have been used all over the country. Companies operating only in the capital have accepted gifts to the value of 193 million krónur. Companies in South Iceland have taken 103 million krónur. Northeast Iceland has taken 72 million, West Iceland 44 million, Suðurnes 31 million, East Iceland 26 million, Northwest Iceland 14 million, and the Westfjords 13 million krónur. Companies with operations around the whole country have accepted an additional 103 million krónur in travel gifts.
Statistics are also available on gift spending so far by company. Flyover Iceland, which is an interactive multimedia attraction in Reykjavík, comes top, having taken 29 million krónur in travel gifts so far. Íslandshótel hotels chain is second on 25 million krónur. Next are the Blue Lagoon, Icelandair Hotels, Olís, Air Iceland Connect, and N1. The fast-food chain KFC is in eighth position, having taken 11 million krónur. Domino’s Pizza is ninth, also on 11 million. Vök Baths in East Iceland fills out the top ten.
The fact that one third of the travel gifts were spent in the capital, while two thirds of the nation’s population lives in the region seems to suggest the travel gifts were often used for their intended purpose: domestic travel and tourism. It is not clear how many travel gifts from elsewhere in Iceland were spent on trips to the capital, but the number is likely to be significant and emphasises the point still further.