COVID-19 and Tourism in Iceland
10 minute read
31 Mar 2020
As the world wrestles with Covid-19 and people adapt slowly to new reality, many of us contemplate the future and re-evaluate our lives.
As I start writing this post whilst being in self-isolation, I’m reminded of things that we sometimes take for granted. It is in times like this when we can’t do what we want to do in the moment, that we are reminded of activities that are sources of joy, tranquility, and inspiration amidst all the chaos and stress in our daily lives.
I’m personally reminded of the feeling of happiness when I get to enjoy the abundant offerings of natural beauty here. I am constantly amazed to observe how this incredible island, placed in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean, continues to defy natural forces perpetually to be a piece of heaven on Earth. This feeling of seeing these natural wonders is reminiscent of how the Himalayas in Nepal stand majestic and grand whilst defying the natural forces of tectonic movements, changing weather and the immense downpour of rain during monsoon.
Iceland is special, not only because of the untouched natural beauty that wows us every single moment but also because of the people who call this island home. In my few years living here, I have found Icelanders to be one of the most resilient, proud and loving people I have come across in my life.
Tourism plays a key role in Icelandic society as it is an integral part of the national economy. The tourism industry in Iceland has boomed over the last 5-7 years. One might argue that tourism is still just a by-product of the Icelandic passion to show and share the wonders of nature with friends and guests from all around the world. Guides in Iceland are unique and guiding is so much more than just a proffesion. It's passionate, profound, anecdotal and most importantly intimate.
With the outbreak of life-threatening COVID-19 and the classification as a pandemic by the WHO, some of these joys mentioned above and love of showing our beautiful country to the world seem insignificant now when compared to the sense of sadness we are feeling while mourning the loss of lives around the world. I personally do not know a single person who has not been affected by this outbreak. Some of our loved ones are fighting for their lives and some of us are being indirectly affected by the travel ban and standstill economy in our countries. For some of us, the effects of this outbreak will live in our memories for the foreseeable future.
At BusTravel Iceland, we have always related to our guests on a personal level and made friends along the way. In these times of uncertainty and hardship, we hope all of you are staying safe and your loved ones are doing well. Although you may be far away from Iceland now, all of you are in our thoughts and we will be continually sending our best wishes to you via all communication channels possible. We live in a connected world and the greatest gift we can give to anyone now (more than ever before) is the feeling of love, compassion, and togetherness. As the uncertainty looms over the consequences of this, we remain committed to providing the best service to all of you who have not traveled with us yet. As soon as the news of the outbreak in Wuhan started circulating, we immediately implemented health and safety protocols on all of our departures. For the last few months, we have closely followed preventive and precautionary guidelines from the WHO and Directorate of Health in Iceland, and we are continually adapting to recommended measures on a day to day basis.
As things are right now, the tourism industry will be significantly impacted and the folks who serve on the frontlines every day will be affected more so. However, as history tells us, it will bounce back. And, when it does, we will be here to show you our beautiful country and tell stories about our livelihood and culture. I am confident that resilience and compassion will help us overcome all the challenges we are facing currently. Until then, stay home and stay safe.
“ÞETTA REDDAST” (it will work out okay).