Germans give Iceland a reason to brag, Italians not so much

The past few years haven’t been all that kind to Iceland. After practicing a uniquely aggressive form of finance – maybe it should have been called “Viking derivatives” – the country felt massively the effects of the global financial crisis, screwing things up for British depositors who were parking their cash in these arctic savings accounts to score double-digit interest rates for (supposedly) no risk. Then, the country had to deal with the implications of a volcanic eruption this past spring. It’s hard to find a silver lining in that volcanic cloud.

Nonetheless, the tourist season is being declared a success. Spinning adversity into triumph, Icelandair CEO Birkir Hólm Gudnason believes the volcano‘s blast could have a long-term upside for the country’s tourism business.

Meanwhile, the hoteliers are finding ways to be bullish in the near term. Laufey Helgadóttir claims to be happy with the summer, saying it could be better than last year, thanks in large parts to German tourists who are sticking to their travel plans. Italians, unfortunately, seem to be canceling. Notes Helgadóttir: “[W]e won’t complain after this tourist summer.”

[photo by Deivis via Flickr]