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Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 18 : 00 PM [IST]

Iceland expects more than 50% increase in tourist traffic from India with direct air connectivity

To start Visa processing from own embassy in Delhi soon
Nordic Island country in the North Atlantic, Iceland is hoping big boost in travel and tourism between the two countries with the establishment of the direct air connectivity between Delhi and Keflavik. Iceland’s low fare transatlantic carrier, WOW Air, had announced its first Asian foray into Delhi from its hub in Keflavik starting December 7, 2018. WOW Air will operate five frequencies a week to start with intend to increase frequencies and routes later.

Speaking to TravelBiz Monitor on the sidelines of the event organised by WOW Air to announce their new route to India, Thorir Ibsen, Ambassador of Iceland to India expressed the confidence that the direct air connectivity will “expedite” the tourism numbers from India to Iceland. He said that the interest has been growing for the last few years with almost 50% growth in Indian visitations over the last three years.  “Although interest was growing, lack of direct connectivity was a limiting factor,” he said. With the launch of direct flight, he hoped the tourist numbers to grow more than 50% in the first year itself. “It will also bring more Iceland tourist to India as well,” he added.

When asked about the Visa regime, the Ambassador said that Iceland is part of the Schengen visa. However, Iceland visa in India is being outsourced to Danish Embassy. The Ambassador said that the amount of visa applications was not large enough to set up own system.  However, he said that the situation has changed over the last one year and they have started thinking in terms of processing the visas in own embassy. The commencement of the new direct flight, he said, will necessitate that shift and give momentum to it, the Ambassador said.

He said that Iceland is a “magic” country where people can watch the northern lights during winter and midnight sun in summer.  Iceland is a country where people can enjoy pure and clean nature in isolation, he added.

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