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Tourists’ plans on ice, but not changing

20.01.2021 - 13:34
Jóhannes Þór Skúlason
 Mynd: Þór Ægisson
Opinion polls suggest the pandemic will have little effect on people’s holiday plans when they are able to start travelling normally again. It is also unlikely that conferences have met their demise, despite the current popularity and user-friendliness of online video meeting software. It seems the market sector that was planning trips to Iceland before the pandemic is still planning them today.

Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association was a guest on Rás 1 radio earlier this week: “Many have been predicting that a lot would change. People will start looking at destinations like Iceland for its wide-open spaces. When we look at the polls that have been conducted recently overseas, it becomes clear that it is quite the opposite. People are waiting, holding their breath, ready to set off, and plan to do precisely the same as they did before COVID,” he said. 

Jóhannes explains that the data suggest people who were mainly interested in city breaks are still looking at city breaks. “Those who want to experience nature still want to experience nature. That means we are keeping our market sector, which is people who want to experience diverse and spectacular nature.” 

Jóhannes also said he expects the conference market to make a slow recovery; though not before the pandemic is almost completely over. 

"I think the death of conferences and physical meetings has been overstated. I think it will prove true that there is no substitute for personal contact between people. It is likely that people will decide it is possible to take some of these meetings online, but I think people will continue to travel internationally for business,” Jóhannes said. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager