Favorable exchange rate: Now a tourist attraction for Iceland

REYKJAVÍK, Iceland (eTN) – More Swiss, German and American tourists visited Iceland in April 2009 than in 2008, according the Iceland Tourist Board. A net 6.5 percent increase in foreign visitor departures was recorded in the same month, while there has been a significant decrease in the number of Icelanders traveling abroad.

Political leaders and economists alike consider tourism to be a key industry to help Iceland on its way to economic recovery after the country’s bank collapse last October.

Iceland’s currency, the Icelandic krona (ISK), was heavily devaluated against all major currencies immediately after the bank’s collapse. This has made it less expensive for foreign tourists to visit the country and more expensive for the local people to travel abroad.

The devaluation of the ISK has caused nearly 45 percent decrease in the number of Icelanders traveling abroad.

One year ago, US$1 bought 75 ISK but today US$1 buys 125 ISK, much to the enjoyment of foreign visitors to the country.