3.1 Tourism

Indicator 3.1 - Tourism

visir-13_1-ljosmyndEast Iceland attracts many tourists to see the area's wilderness, fjords, waterfalls, tundra, and landscapes.

The projects will likely influence the number of tourists in the region through tourist interests in the projects, increased access to the area, and business travel.



Results

a. Proportion of jobs in hotels and restaurants in East Iceland and nationally.


Figure 1: Proportion of jobs in hotels and restaurants in East Iceland compared to Iceland and North-East Iceland.
Figure 1: Proportion of jobs in hotels and restaurants in East Iceland compared to Iceland and North-East Iceland.

As Figure 1 shows, the proportion of jobs in hotels and restaurants in East-Iceland has been slightly lower than the national average. It is not possible to see any special change regarding this issue, upwards or downwards, at the time when construction started in 2003. There is a small increase in the proportion in East-Iceland between the years of 2004 and 2005.

More recent figures, on the proportion of jobs in hotels and restaurants, since 2005 are not available from the Icelandic Bureau of Statistics. The sustainability Initiative group board is still working on getting information from 2006 until now.

Source: Statistics Iceland, 2009.

Last updated 10 April 2012.

 



b. Number of overnight stays, in hotels and guesthouses in East Iceland

Number of overnight stays, in hotels and guesthouses in East Iceland

Figure 2:  Number of overnight stays in Hotels and Guesthouses in East Iceland, capital area and whole Iceland 2000-2014 (Including summer hotels and summer guesthouses).

Community Höfn counted with the South region from the year 2015 but the East region before then. Community Höfn will belong entirely to South region following a forthcoming update and new chart will be updated.

Table 1 - Number of overnight stays in Hotels an Guesthouses in East Iceland 2015 - 2017.

  Number of overnight stays
 2015 174,227
 2016 195,202
 2017 199,229

Number of overnight stays as ratio of stays in the year 2000


Figure 3.  Number of overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses in East Iceland, capital area and whole Iceland as ratio of number of overnight stays in the year 2000.  (Including summer hotels and summer guesthouses).

Community Höfn counted with the South region 2015-2017 but the East region before then. Will belong entirely to South region following a forthcoming update.

Supply and occupancy rate of accommodation in East Iceland

Supply and occupancy rate of accommodation in East Iceland

Figure 4.  Number of beds and rooms in hotels and guesthouses and occupancy rate of beds and rooms in hotels, in East Iceland.

Community Höfn counted with the South region after 2012 in occupancy rate but the East region before then. Community Höfn is not counted in supply for East Iceland. Community Höfn will belong entirely to South region following a forthcoming update.

Raw data in Excel

Updated:  October 9th, 2018.

Source: Statistics Iceland. (2018)

  • Retrieved  October 3rd 2018 from

    http://px.hagstofa.is/pxen/sq/83a53236-37bf-4533-a8aa-c7fb5497c608

  • Retrieved October 3rd 2018 from:

    http://px.hagstofa.is/pxen/sq/c9450b0f-ed55-485b-ab73-f44f5eada620

  • Retrieved September 26th 2018 from:

    http://px.hagstofa.is/pxen/pxweb/en/Atvinnuvegirhttp://px.hagstofa.is/pxen/sq/c6415e4d-9a24-4d6a-8e8a-188771137abd



c. Number of passengers traveling through Egilsstaðir Airport.

Number of passengers traveling through Egilsstaðir Airport 2003 - 2017

Figure 5:  Number of passengers traveling through Egilsstaðir Airport 2003 - 2017 and seating capacity 2009 - 2014.

Updated: September, 25th 2018.
Source:  Statistics Iceland. (2017) Retrieved 23.10.2017 from  http://px.hagstofa.is/pxen/pxweb/en/Atvinnuvegir/Atvinnuvegir__samgongur__flug/SAM04201.px 

Flugfélag Íslands (Air Iceland Connect) 2016. 

Isavia webpage, retrieved September, 25th 2018 https://www.isavia.is/media/1/12-2017-tolur-fyrir-vefsiduna.pdf



d. Number of visits to Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminum smelter and Fljótsdalsstöð power station


Figure 6: Number of visits to Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminum smelter and Fljótsdalsstöð power plant (Landsvirkjun) 2004 - 2014.
Figure 6:  Number of visits to Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminum smelter and Fljótsdalsstöð power plant (Landsvirkjun) 2004 - 2014.

Landsvirkjun's visitor center for  Kárahnjúkavirkjun power plant and Fljótsdalur power station was in Végarður community center until 2013. In the years 2014 and 2015 no visitor center was open to the public. Groups where invited to Fljótsdalsstöð power station and guided tours available for guests at Kárahnjúkastífla dam twice each week, three hours at a time from June 18 to  August 23.   Information aboue number of visitors is available in table 1.

 

Table 1.  Number of visitors in Fljótsdalsstöð power station and at guided tours by Kárahnjúkastífla dam in 2014 - 2017.

  Number of visitors in Fljótsdalsstöð power station
Number of visitors at Kárahnjúkastífla dam
Total
 2014  500  940  1440
 2015  398  849  1247
 2016  420   797  1217
 2017  350   937  1287 

Before the aluminum smelter started operation, Alcoa Fjarðaál had a visitor center near the smelter site.  Organized tours for public are no longer offered at the smelter and no new numbers available.

Updated:  March 6, 2018
Source:  Landsvirkjun (2018) and Alcoa (2005-2015)


Metrics, Targets & Monitoring Protocol


Metrics: What is measured?

  1. Proportion of jobs in hotels and restaurants in East Iceland and nationally. (Project effect: induced).
  2. Number of overnight stays, supply and occupancy rate of beds in hotels and guesthouses in East Iceland. (Project effect: induced).
  3. Number of passengers and passenger load factor on flights to and from Egilsstaðir airport (Project effect:  induced).
  4. Number of visits to Fjarðaál smelter and Fljótsdalsstöð power station. (Project effect: induced).


Monitoring Protocol

  1. Information from Statistics Iceland  will be collected annually.
  2. Information from Statistics Iceland  will be collected annually.
  3. Information will be collected annually from Air Iceland and Statistics Iceland.
  4. Landsvirkjun and Fjarðaál monitor number of visits to hydro and smelter sites.

Targets

  1. Proportion of tourism jobs in East Iceland greater than or equal to national proportion

  2. Increase in the number of bed nights in East Iceland proportionally greater than or equal to national average.

  3. Increase in the number of passengers from baseline

  4. Number of visits to Fjarðaál and Kárahnjúkar visitor centers to increase after initial spike


Countermeasures

None, only monitoring.


Changes to indicator and metrics

At annual meeting of the initiative on May 3 2016 the following changes of monitoring protocol in parts b and c were approved.

What is measured

Original text
Changed text
b. Number of bed nights/year in hotels and guesthouses in East Iceland. (Project effect: induced).
b. Number of overnight stays, supply and occupancy rate of beds in hotels and guesthouses in East Iceland. (Project effect: induced).
c. Number of passengers on flights to Egilsstadir. (Project effect: induced).
c. Number of passengers and load factor on flights to and from Egilsstaðir (Project effect:  induced).
Rational for changes: 

The changes are made in order to add stock variables rather than measure only flow variables.  At the initiative's annual meeting in 2015 Jón Skafti Gestsson talked about the importance of monitoring stock variables.  The group that discussed this indicator afterwards suggested these changes.


It was decided in the forth phase of the initiative to change the numbers of the sustainability indicators.  This indicator was originally number 13.1 and is referenced as 13.1 in early documents of the project.

Rationale for Indicator Selection



East Iceland attracts many tourists to see the area's wilderness, fjords, waterfalls, tundra, and landscapes.

The projects will likely influence the number of tourists in the region through tourist interests in the projects, increased access to the area, and business travel.

It is also possible that the projects will make the area less interesting to some tourists that feel the construction of the dam will have a negative impact on wilderness in the highlands.

Tourists can access East Iceland by car, on tour buses, or via plane. Egilsstadir is the location of the region's principal airport, supporting local and international flights. The airport is well connected with good roads allowing access to many parts of East Iceland.


Baseline