About Vakinn

Independent quality- and environmental assurance is becoming increasingly important for international visitors. Survey results show that travelers prefer companies with a credible and independent quality certification.

Vakinn, the official quality and environmental certification for Icelandic Tourism is based on Qualmark- New Zealand Tourism Official Mark of Quality. Much work has been put into adapting the system to Icelandic conditions involving various stakeholders in tourism as well as specialists from diverse fields of expertise.

The Vakinn star rating criteria for hotels is, however, composed according to the European Hotelstars system, led by the Hotrec Association.

The aim of Vakinn is to strengthen quality, safety and environmental awareness within Icelandic tourism and promote social responsibility of tourist service providers. For its members, Vakinn is an effective tool to increase quality and safety, providing diverse supplementary materials, guidelines, data and checklists that are useful in improving operating procedures and service.

    Environment, quality, professionalism, cooperation, integrity and purity are the values of Icelandic tourism. 

The Vakinn team at the Icelandic Tourist Board

Alda Þrastardóttir Áslaug Briem Elías Gíslason
Alda Þrastardóttir
Project manager
Áslaug Briem 
Project manager
Elías Bj. Gíslason

The Vakinn steering committee

  • Elías Bj. Gíslason from the Icelandic Tourist Board.
  • Jóhannes Þór Skúlason from the Icelandic Travel Industry Associaton.
  • Berglind Viktorsdóttir from Hey Iceland, represents participants.
  • Einar Torfi Finnsson from Icelandic Mountain Guides, represents participants.

The role of the steering committee is to

  • Take part in the development of Vakinn.
  • Discuss revised quality and environmental criteria and confirm changes to those.
  • Discuss and confirm new quality criteria.
  • Be spokesmen of Vakinn.

Complaints Committee

To rule on issues relating to Vakinn audits, the Icelandic Tourist Board has appointed a complaints committee. The role of the Complaints Committee is to:

  1. Settle disputes relating to Vakinn audits.
  2. Grant excemptions from criteria, based on valid arguments.
  3. Settle other issues that may arise regarding Vakinn.

Appreciation of Contribution

The Icelandic Tourist Board and the Vakinn steering committee express their gratitude and appreciation towards all those who contributed to the compilation of the Vakinn criteria. The process clearly revealed the great capability and strong sense of responsibility of many Icelandic tourism providers, establishing their management as excellent role models.