Every Icelander over the age of 18 receives a coupon worth ISK 5,000 to spend on domestic tourism from the government. The first details in program were revealed at an introductory meeting that was broadcast on RÚV this morning.
Approximately 250,000 Icelanders will receive ISK 5,000 (EUR 32.36) a digital certificate which will cost the Treasury ISK 1.25 billion (approximately EUR 8 million).
The licenses are valid from the beginning of June until 31 December 2020. They can be used by tourism companies, including restaurants, entertainment venues, car rentals, hotels, museums, saunas, private pools and campsites.
They will be especially portable, so if you do not want to use them, you can give your credit to friends. The government will soon open an app where you can apply for your certificate provided you are over 18 years old and have an Icelandic ID number.
Tourism companies with premises in Iceland will be allowed to accept a maximum of 20,000 supporting documents, equivalent to ISK 100 million.
Companies must register on Ísland.is to be able to receive them; Registration will be open in the next few days. The website Ferðalag.is will be launched shortly to provide further information about the system.
The Minister of Tourism, Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, acknowledged that the system will “not change whether companies live or die” and explains that it is “first and foremost a symbolic action”. The Minister wants to give Icelanders the opportunity to travel around their own country, especially in light of the fact that the summer is probably much calmer than usual. She also hopes that the measure will support smaller tourism companies and encourages companies to introduce special offers for check users.
As has been reported, the tourism industry in Iceland has been hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic. In the first week of the government’s reduced employment program, about half of all applications came from tourism workers. The industry is expected to start bouncing back when the country reopens with tourists on June 15, but many companies are likely to continue to suffer from the economic effects of the crisis well into the future.
Note – this article has been updated.
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