Two for one into Víkingaheimar

Last week, a promotional campaign called "Sá einn veit er víða ratar" started. This campaign was sponsored by the Icelandic banks, both those that have been privatized and those that are still publicly held. It allows anyone with a bank card issue by one of these banks to get into Víkingaheimar for half-price. Blue Lagoon, the Peace Tower, and the Settlement Center in Borgarnes are also part of the promotion. Recently, Dr. Gunni commented on how racist  it is to allow someone who holds an Icelandic bank card (ie: lives in Iceland) a discount which tourists are not offered.

I have to say two things in response to this. First of all, tourists that come to Víkingaheimar very often come in groups through tour companies. In that case, they are offered a substantial discount.

But secondly, and more importantly from my point of view, is that Víkingaheimar has received a tremendous amount of tax payer dollars through the years, Icelandic tax payer dollars. We have a short-term operating grant from the Cultural Ministry, and the controlling owner is the town of Reykjanes. And if one includes the Icelandic national sponsorship of the sailing of Íslendingur and also support to the Nordic Council of Ministers, which sponsored the Smithsonian Viking exhibition (a portion of which is on display at Víkingaheimar), it is a lot of tax dollars at work.

I suppose the same may be said of the other destinations in this offer, that they have received public support of various kinds, at least in terms of infrastructure if not actual funds. But I think only Víkingaheimar has received both public grants and public support from various Icelandic government offices from its inception, so there is a level of fairness involved in allowing Icelandic tax payers a discounted rate into the museum.


Jon said…
I live in an area of much tourism. Many of the area businesses offer local discounts. There are many reasons the merchants offer these discounts, but it is safe to say that racism is not one of them.

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