The airport reported an increase of 9% of passenger arrivals in 2012’s busiest months of June, July and August, compared to the same period a year earlier. The trend continues with a predicted 19.8% increase through year’s end. Keflavik International Airport expects a total traffic of 2.4 million passengers by the end of 2012.
However, only one forth (650,000) of all airport transit passengers are tourists, but January – September total tourism figures are up 17.2 percent since last year. Another positive is the increase of US tourists, up 21% this year, after a booming 52% increase in 2011. The number of US visitors is significantly higher than the number of UK, German and Norwegian visitors, and all of them generated 133bn ($1.1 billion) ROI for Iceland in 2011.
“We are continuing to see record annual growth in the tourism sector, with Iceland’s unspoiled nature, rugged landscape and unique culture continuing to draw US visitors. This is resulting in the tourism season stretching from a summer only season to a year-round destination,” says Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director of Marketing & Visit Iceland.
These numbers are expected to skyrocket in 2013. Icelandair has already announced a 15 percent increase in flights for the upcoming months.