The Westfjords are heating up this summer with experts estimating that over 2,000 tourists will visit the region for sea-angling alone. Two new tour companies in Sudureyri and Sudavik have entered the market to take advantage of Westfjord’s growing popularity with fishing fiends, offering tourists package deals with accommodation, fishing boats and other services.
It’s a modest start for an area that has big aspirations. Ómar Már Jónsson, who works for local travel agency Fjord Fishing and is the head of the local authority in Súdavík, estimates that the Westfjords has the capacity and ability to handle five times the number coming this summer.
Once services have been developed in the villages of Westfjords, Jónsson thinks profits could soar, putting the figure somewhere around ISK 1 billion (USD 16 million) in revenues from sea-angling every year.
Sea-angling has become an increasingly popular sport over the last several years, particularly in Norway. With the Westfjords becoming one of the best places to angle in Europe, local tour operators have been finding it difficult to keep up with the demand.
There are 31 fishing boats and 36 cottages available through Fjord Fishing in Súdavík and through Hvíldarklettur in Sudureyri. Many of their clients come from Germany and rent cottages and boats for one week. Jónsson estimates there are 350,000 visitors from Germany every year for fishing.
“That shows how huge this market is. We have the product, the service and the scenery and the opportunities are endless,” he concluded.