Iceland has seen an increase in tourism in recent years which is great, but the current demand is outpacing the growth of their hotel industry. One tourism study estimated that the hotels in and around the city of Reykjavik will be all full and sold out by the first quarter of 2017, even with one fifth of visitors relying on Airbnb for their stays.
Another report estimated that this year Iceland would see 1.6 million tourists, despite the fact that they only have 290 total new hotel rooms opening in the year. By 2018, Iceland is expected to see 2.5 million visitors annually.
Additionally, with so many tourists Iceland is going to need to create a better public transportation system as well. One of the study analysts Erna Bjorg Sverrisdottir said “If we are going to welcome all of these tourists, they need somewhere to stay and things to do.”
Part of the issue her is that Iceland just doesn’t have the manpower to do the work necessary to get so many new hotels up and running. The growing tourist industry is expected to bring in new jobs for 10,000 to 11,000 people, which is double the normal job growth rate. Iceland already has a high employment rate, so those positions have to be filled somehow.