Quality Tourism Services

The aim of Vakinn is to increase quality, safety and environmental awareness within Icelandic tourism and at the same time to strengthen a sense of social responsibility among actors in the field.

General quality criteria and activity specific criteria

The certification for tourism services other than accommodation is based on two types of criteria:

  1. General quality criteria applicable to all tourism providers.
  2. Specific quality criteria for each activity. A total of 30 sets of criteria exist, including criteria for guided walks in populated areas, criteria for riding tours and horse rentals, criteria for snowmobile tours and criteria for restaurants and cafés, to name a few. 


 Sustainability is a crucial matter for Icelandic tourism. Implementing a quality and environmental system can result in a competitive advantage in terms of sustainability.

To be certified the companies must meet all applicable requirements in general and the specific quality criteria as well as certain environmental criteria.

The certified companies are audited once a year.

Quality matters

Success in tourism is often based on vigorous marketing activities. Little is to be gained by such efforts, however, if the guests actual experiences fall short of expectations. The internet, with social media, interactive venues and travel websites such as TripAdvisor, Facebook and Twitter has revolutionized the marketing landscape, providing consumers with rapidly expanding opportunities to voice their perspectives. When people make travel-related decisions they look increasingly for comments made by earlier visitors. What were their experiences? Did the trip live up to their expectations? Quality matters are therefore important factors for the reputation of Icelandic tourism and Vakinn quality and environmental certification is an important tool when it comes to increasing quality. Quality and Environmental certification can also create a competitive advantage for companies.


  61% of foreign tourists in Iceland claim that it is important to their choice of tourist service company that the company has a recognised quality certification. 72% claim that an environmental certification is important or very important*

* A survey from the Icelandic Tourist Board among foreign tourist in Iceland during the winter of 2017-2018