Year of Sustainable Tourism for development
The United Nations have declared 2017 as the Year of Sustainable Tourism for development. Sustainable tourism is defined as the development or activities in tourism that respect the environment and ensure long-term protection of natural and cultural resources.
Over a very short time in recent years, Iceland has known a boom in the tourism industry. Going from about 488,000 visitors in 2010 to over 1,5 million for the year 2016, tourism has become the largest revenue-generating sector in Iceland, surpassing even fishing!
With a positive influence on the country’s economy, this increase in visitors can also have some negative consequences, including an impact on the country’s natural resources.
Luckily, one of the very positive things we have in Iceland is geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is considered sustainable and can be used in sectors as diverse as fish farming, greenhouses, snow melting, space heating and even bathing and recreation.
Since the Settlement period, Icelanders have been known to make use of the geothermal resources in their country, and before they started transforming geothermal energy into electricity, very early on they started using the hot water for bathing and recreation. Today there are about 169 recreational pools operating in Iceland, 138 of which use geothermal heat.
The Blue Lagoon (geothermal spa)and the Mývatn Nature Baths come as a cherry on the cake, and Iceland’s next issue on April 27th features just both these jewels on two beautifully coloured stamps designed by Hlynur Ólafsson, with drawings by Pétur Atli Antonsson.
The Blue Lagoon has increasingly been considered as a must-do among our visitors and is now is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. Situated on the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon is a man-made lagoon which started forming in 1976, fed by the output water of the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station in Grindavík. It soon became clear that bathing in the lagoon had positive effects on the skin, especially among people affected by psoriasis skin disease. Over time, the reservoir developed into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. Its ecosystem is one of a kind : the warm mixture of freshwater and seawater is rich in minerals renews itself every 40 hours. The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–75 °C (99–167 °F). The Blue Lagoon also operates a research and development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.
The Mývatn Nature Baths are located close to Reykjahlíð in the North of Iceland. Since the settlement period they have been used as health baths. They consist of natural saunas, nature baths with hot spring water and hot tubs. Mývatn is Iceland’s fourth largest lake and renowned for its diverse nature and birdlife. Since the area is within the active volcanic belt, there are frequent telluric movements (although they are not often felt on the surface). The last series of eruptions took place in 1984 in the Krafla area where geothermal energy is harnessed today.
Theme: Year of Sustainable Tourism for developement
Issue: 648A-B – Issue date 27.04.2017
Design: Hlynur Ólafsson / Pétur Atli Antonsson (drawings)
Printer: Joh. Enschedé Security Print
Process: Offset Litho (CMYK)
Stamp size: 40×30 mm
Paper: 196 gsm self-adhesive
Price: B50g to Europe (200 ISK)
B50g outside Europe (250 ISK)
These stamps and other philatelic products such as sets of stamps and First Day Covers will be available soon from our webstore and on the 27.04.2017 from Icelandic post offices.
You can also order our products directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at : 00354-580-1050 from 9am-4pm Icelandic time