Iceland Tourism officials say they are “dusting off the welcome mat,” as day-to-day life returns to normal after the recent Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption. Einar Gustavsson, director of the Iceland Tourist Board based in New York, says, “As a result of the worldwide attention, volcano tourism has become, if you’ll excuse the expression, ‘explosively’ popular.”
Roadways in the south that were previously closed to tour buses have re-opened, flights remain on schedule, and all airports remain operational. Icelandic tour operators have been amending cancellation policies, and Icelandair was commended in the media for their swift and efficient re-routing of North American flights.
“Thankfully the damage from the volcano was minimal and the Icelandic travel community was able to work together to ensure that every traveler’s experience went as smoothly as possible,” Gustavsson added.
For a while there, you couldn’t turn on the news or watch a comedy show without seeing a reference to Iceland’s virtually unpronounceable volcano and its once-in-a-lifetime eruption. On one day alone, there were over 16,000 news stories about the eruption, according to a Google search. Today sent Al Roker over to cover it; and a Saturday Night Live skit imagined Bjork singing to Eyjafjallajökull. Icelanders were amused by the media’s attempts to simply pronounce the volcano. For the record, Icelanders say it like this: EY-ya-fyat-lah-YO-kull.