REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- Mount Hekla, Iceland's most active volcano,
erupted late last month.
Located about 75 miles east of this capital city, the eruption
did not affect the operations of Icelandair, the national carrier
based in Reykjavik, and no injuries were reported. In fact, Mount
Hekla's activity brought an unexpected bonus: publicity.
"It's been all over the news," Einar Gustavsson, director of the
Americas for the Icelandic Tourist Board, said about the media
coverage of the eruption. "We've gotten a lot of inquiries. It's
been extensively covered on television," he added, referring to
footage of the eruption broadcast on CNN.
Gustavsson said the eruption is "in full swing. It is really
beautiful and awesome. This is just a spectacular, phenomenal
The tourist board reported interest from people who want to
travel to the volcano to watch the eruption and said there are
three tours available, via four-wheel-drive Jeep, bus or
Gustavsson noted that winter is Iceland's "prime time" for
adventure travelers, typically ages 25 to 45.
"Many of them are impulse buyers," Gustavsson said. "On short
notice, they'll plan a long weekend two to three times a year."
Gunnar Eklund, general manager of the Americas for Icelandair,
said the airline has "had some inquiries regarding [the volcano],
but nothing big."