Icelandic tourism is going through massive changes. This growth has several reasons. One is an explosive growth in numbers of tourists. In 2010 a little less than 460 thousand visitors arrived in Iceland. Eight years later approximately 2.3 million visitors arrived. For a country with about 350 thousand inhabitants this is nothing short of an explosion.
This increase has occurred in a large part in shoulder and off season but summer is still the main season for Icelandic tourism. Although tourism can now be considered a full-time enterprise in the Capital region of Iceland that is not the case for most of the countryside, with perhaps the exception of South Iceland. In other parts of Iceland tourism investments are not used for a large part of the year and are therefore in many cases not a sustainable business. Furthermore, by creating a more sustainable and viable tourism destinations, Iceland may be able to better preserve those destinations that now have the problems of being too popular.
Another big change is technology. Technology is changing Icelandic tourism – as well as tourism all over the world. Digital technologies are changing the way tourism companies connect to and create value for their customers and change how the companies innovate and think about competition. One example of how these changes come to life in Iceland is the Whale Exhibition in Reykjavik. The very existence of that establishment is based on the two changes in Icelandic tourism mentioned here, technology is used to create value and the increasing number of tourists make the business, hopefully, viable.