Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism

We at Hey Iceland are active in participating in the development of Iceland’s tourism industry and recognize our responsibility in being part of the solution. We are therefore always seeking ways to improve the impact we have on our surroundings and performances in cooperation with the tourist industry, our members, employees, and partners. 
By choosing Hey Iceland, you are supporting local business and making a positive contribution to rural communities in Iceland. The travel agency was founded by farmers in 1980, the Icelandic Farm Holidays Association, and is still majority-owned by the farmers themselves, meaning that profits stay local!  
View our Sustainability Policy 

Hey Iceland is certified by Vakinn

VAKINN baedi.jpg

Hey Iceland is certified by Vakinn, the official quality and environmental system in Iceland, which means an annually independent evaluation of all aspects of the travel agencies business practices.

Our members have all implemented our strict quality system to qualify as a member of our network as well as sales and marketing efforts. However, our goal is that by 2019 all our members will have moved from our system and joined Vakinn, which we see as a positive step to improve quality and professionalism further.

Vakinn quality and environmental system for Icelandic tourism is based on Qualmark - New Zealand tourism's official mark of quality but adapted to Icelandic conditions. Vakinn is run by the Icelandic Tourist Board which leads the project in close cooperation with the Icelandic Travel Industry Association, Innovation Center Iceland, and experts. 

Hey Iceland members certified by Vakinn


Tips for responsible travel in Iceland

Birds in Reykjavík

Make your holiday count! We encourage responsible travel in rural areas allowing our guests to get closer to nature, culture, and wildlife. Below are our top green tips to make your Iceland trip more eco-friendly and rewarding at the same time.

    • Look for environmentally certified companies and products
    • Consider traveling outside of the summer months
    • Reduce your carbon footprint by walking, cycling or using public transport when available
    • Respect the often fragile natural landscape and wildlife of Iceland, stay on marked trails and do not drive off-road
    • Stay for longer at smaller locally owned accommodation in remoter rural areas
    • Buy local food and handicrafts, many of our members offer local produce
    • Do not litter and recycle as much as possible
    • Carry a reusable container to fill up with fresh Icelandic spring water straight from the tap
    • Be aware of hot and cold water areas, in cold water areas hot water has to be used more sparsely than in areas where geothermal water is plentiful
    • When staying two nights or more at one place, please notice if there is a sign asking you to hang the towel on the rack if you wish to use it again
    • Our members have good knowledge about the local area, do not hesitate to ask if you are curious to know more about the area or local culture
    • Do volunteer work during your stay, for example through the SEEDS program
    • Provide feedback and tell us about your experience. We welcome suggestions on how we can do better


Employees recycles organic waste 

As a Vakinn certified organization and as part of our sustainability policy, we are always taking steps to reduce our environmental footprint. Read our blog!

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