If it seems like everyone in your social media feed is traveling to Iceland, you're onto something: These days, the island country actually has more American tourists than it does its own citizens. So why is everyone going to Iceland all of a sudden? Well, here's why:
1. Cheap travel
Getting to Iceland may well have never been more affordable than it is right now. Wow Air offers shockingly cheap flights to Iceland from the U.S. these days — think $99 legs — and recently, other airlines that serve Iceland have also been offering flight prices worthy of fanfare. On top of this, there are just more flights to Iceland these days, which makes traveling easier. And the main airport in Iceland has just undergone a makeover to serve the glut of travelers.
2. Buzzy events
Sure, we've got Coachella and Electric Daisy. But Iceland has its share of travel-worthy events too, including the uber-buzzy Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavík. Last year, the event made headlines for selling a $200,000 package — and this year it waaaaay outdid itself by offering a $1 million ticket package, which included private access to the Blue Lagoon. (That made it the most expensive festival ticket offered anywhere on the planet.) Sure, that's not exactly in everyone's tax bracket — but it sure added buzz to the festival.
3. Instagram-worthy scenery
Giant waterfalls carved by glaciers, stark and bold mountaintops, vibrantly lush greenery, stunning views of the coast, and some of the best views of the Northern Lights in the world draw travelers to the country.
And in the age of the selfie, as chronicled in this National Geographic story, millennials are especially prone to travel that involves dramatic landscape — and photographing it. And millennials make up a huge chunk of current travelers to Iceland.
4. Epic lodging
There’s been a surge in Iceland's hotels and other lodging accommodations, like Airbnb listings, over the last few years. So not only do travelers have a place to stay, but they have more choices now in what kind of stay they want to have than they’ve ever had before.
5. Bucket-list tours
The guided tour scene in Iceland has flown through the roof in recent years. Gone are the days when adventurers were on their own out there: The tour offerings and angles these days are as varied as the landscape of the country. There’s something for everyone now.
6. Tourism Board Revamp
It started back in 2010, shortly after the eruption of Eyiafiallaiokull, which hit the country doubly hard considering the financial crisis that was still underway in Iceland at the time. Something had to be done to bring tourists back to Iceland to help boost the economy. In the "Iceland Wants To Be Your Friend" campaign, the country attempted to draw young people in with a cool-sounding voice that set Iceland apart from other countries and tourism marketing methods. Evidently, it worked.
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