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What doe Rick have against Iceland?

Hello:

Iceland is part of Europe, right? So then why hasn't Rick ever done guidebooks or tv shows on Iceland that I know of?

Thanks

Posted by
4637 posts

If Iceland is a part of Europe why did you put it under Beyond Europe and not General Europe? I think he does not have guidebooks about Iceland because Iceland is relatively small and you can find the information in other guidebooks. Bigger countries have other guidebooks, too, but Rick selects the cream for us and we don't have to browse through overwhelming amount of information in thick guidebooks. Iceland is so small that we can handle other guidebooks.

Posted by
7261 posts

Ricks has nothing against Iceland; guidebooks or tv shows are for profit (or non for profit fund raising on PBS stations); maybe market research experts inform that his audience demographic (monolithic) would not be interested and so he or PBS will not make or raise money doing guidebooks or showing tv shows on Iceland.

Posted by
4637 posts

Excellent Christi! OP can now see that R.S. Has nothing against Iceland.

Posted by
498 posts

If Rick has avoided making an Iceland book, I would point out that aside from the incredible natural splendor of the place, there is very little culture there that isn't actually created for tourists. It is such an easy place to be a tourist that a "Back Door" philosophy almost doesn't apply.

Posted by
6877 posts

there is very little culture there that isn't actually created for tourists

Wow, what a putdown..."little culture"? I think the Icelanders would beg to differ on that. Ever heard of Icelandic Sagas and Icelandic literature? Most tourists don't know about it, and most don't travel outside of Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, or the Northern Lights, so their perspective may be overly narrow. I think the "back door" philosophy would be quite useful as most tourists don't interact much with locals or learn about their way of life, especially in the rural villages that comprise most of Iceland. There are also excellent museums in Reykjavik that cover Iceland's historical development, such as the Settlement Exhibition.

As for Rick - he really couldn't add substantial value to the excellent sources that are already out there because he really doesn't have an "in" or a specialized expertise on the country (it seems like he "discovered" it pretty late too). The tourist infrastructure in Iceland is very robust. You can use the websites and Lonely Planet and be set. Planning a trip to Iceland is incredibly easy.

Posted by
6877 posts

Sorry, JTraveler, I didn't mean to come down so hard...I owe you an apology

Posted by
498 posts

Accepted!

The truth is that, Reykjavik is a limited place. I had a great time there, and would like to go back because the landscape is truly unique. But in terms of an established culture (ancient rimes notwithstanding), it exceeds expectations you might have for a remote fishing village - but only just. I have good friends who live in this country, by the way and am not trying to put it down.

Posted by
11441 posts

I think people here need to understand something. Rick is in the tour business. As a secondary part, he sells lots of guidebooks. His TV shows, given to PBS stations for free, are geared around his tours. Look at his last series---mostly the itinerary of his new 'Best of Germany " tour and "South England" tour. His tours are to places he goes and the activities are things he likes to do. Rick likes churches are art museums. His tours are heavy with churches and art museums. If a church has art, even better.

There is nothing wrong with this. He has a business to run and he does a great job of marketing it. So remember, he is trying to convince you to take a tour. And if you don't want to do that, at least buy one, or more, of hist guidebooks.

Posted by
2353 posts

Well said Frank. I think Rick's long association with Public TV makes folks forget that this really is a business for profit.

Posted by
334 posts

To add to what Frank said, the individual country forums are directly associated with those locations that have either guidebooks or tours associated with them. There are many countries that do not have forums, tv shows, or guidebooks: Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Ukraine, Albania, and others. It's not because Rick has something against any of these places -- it's because he's gauged that the return on investment is and has chosen to focus his tours and guides on other places in Europe.

Regarding Iceland specifically, it is very easy to travel and it is isolated from the rest of Europe, so it would be very difficult for him to compete in that market. There are plenty of bus tours as it is that canvas the country. A Rick Steves-style tour also doesn't make sense there as there's not the wealth of museums, old churches, etc that he likes to focus on. (Yes, there are plenty of churches in Iceland, but outside of Reykjavik, they are of the little countryside variety). Additionally, tacking on Iceland to a Scandinavian tour doesn't make sense because of the transportation needed between Iceland and the rest.

Posted by
6877 posts

Additionally, tacking on Iceland to a Scandinavian tour doesn't make
sense because of the transportation needed between Iceland and the
rest.

Technically, Iceland Air makes this a perfect proposition due to their stopover policy (assuming one has access to Iceland Air from where they live). Actually Iceland (more precisely, Reykjavik) has really impressive cultural attractions relative to its tiny 320,000 population. They have more pools/saunas per capita than any other place I can think of, as well as several interesting museums (some are small and understated but no less interesting)..and then there's the Harpa Concert Hall and Iceland Airwaves Music Fest and a truly outstanding culinary scene (really impressive since they have to import so much food). Instead of churches, maybe Rick can do a sauna/mud pot tour of Iceland? Just kidding... it's already covered.

Posted by
334 posts

Iceland Air may be advantageous for someone who wants to include Iceland on their own. There's only a handful of cities that Iceland Air flies to in the states. It's great if you're on the east coast or Minneapolis, but if you're down in Texas like me, you are out of luck.

And I totally agree with the culinary comment. The best seafood dinner I've ever had was in Reykjavik.

Posted by
3493 posts

Iceland Air flys out of Denver. A short hop on Southwest or other airline to get there and then non stop to Iceland. :-)

Posted by
6877 posts

WOW also flies to Iceland and has stopovers (I believe).

At any rate, it's a bit odd that folks expect Rick to write about every single place they want to go to without giving him the benefit of discretion to select those places where he truly has some value-added expertise. There are other perfectly good guidebooks out there not written by Rick. Just because he hasn't covered a country doesn't imply any ill-will on his part...he has the right to make good personal and professional decisions, and to be selective.