Portugal in IcelandMagazine Art + Culture | 03 Mar 2016
It was the call of nature that took Ivo Martins to Iceland in 2007. The following year the country suffered the crash, which hit the headlines around the globe and which changed the political configuration of Iceland forever. Portuguese and from Oporto, Ivo is a tour guide and knows, like few others, this nation moulded by ice and by fire. But that hasn`t always been the case. Initially, he started out working at a ski resort and, in the mountains, he was confronted with the real Iceland. This is where he took his first steps as a guide and recognised the potential of tourism. During the winter – from December to April – he remained at the resort and, in the summer season – June to August –, he explored other parts of the country. He swapped Reykjavik for Akureyri after Christmas 2008 and, in 2009, he definitively entered Iceland`s tourism circuit, beginning his work as a guide in the company in which he still works today – Trans-Atlantic.
He is responsible for the Portuguese, Spanish and Latin American markets and speaks of a country that fascinates him with every turn, but which hasn`t been able to grow in line with the expansion of tourism – in 2004 Iceland had less than 400,000 tourists per year and in 2015 the number of tourists has risen to 1.2 million.
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Text: Cátia Fernandes
Photos: Ivo Martins and the Iceland Tourist Board
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