Keeping it real in the face of Iceland’s tourist boom

I remember when growing up in Iceland and traveling with my parents around the country, that people were curious about each other. The smallness of the country was sometimes too much for a globe trotter like me, but it was also amazing how people managed to find out how they were related or connected with a two minute conversation. And everything changes when you suddenly know people or someone they know. The world becomes smaller and there is a common interest.

Iceland has become of one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. When I meet people from around the world, everyone wants to go there, and everybody knows someone who has been there or is planning to go there. This makes me proud because when I was young and adventurous in Brazil in 1990 many people didn´t know where Iceland was, and at the University I attended it wasn´t even on the map in the classroom. Of course I drew it on the map for them on the spot, not willing to accept this ignorance of my fellow students.

What’s at risk with a tourist boom like what is happening now in Iceland, is that the personal touch goes down the drain. People get greedy and want to make everything big and exciting and commercial for all the curious tourists arriving. I read somewhere that Iceland is expecting 1.6 million tourists in the year of 2016. Notice that the population of Iceland is 300.000. So this means a big pressure on the infrastructure and a need for a lot of people to service the crowd.

Iceland to me is personal, real, and authentic. Not a Hilton Hotel next to the Geysers or 18 busses next to the Blue lagoon.

When I discovered that my favorite guesthouse in Reykjavik had been bought by a huge firm owning 70 apartments in the center of Reykjavik I was truly disappointed.

The personal Iceland I want to present focuses on providing access to the authenticity of the country, introducing visitors to people who want to share the best of Iceland’s culture, nature and unique way of living, to lodging places that reflect the real traditions of this special place, and to locations beyond the reach of the usual tour busses and tourist circuits.

My personal Iceland is the real Iceland. Let me share It with you.

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