Adventura, the Czech tour company that contracts Tatrabus for tours in Iceland, has responded to criticism the company has received in the wake of an accident which caused environmental damage.
The accident involved Tatrabus, a tour bus company working for Adventura. When the bus went off the road and fell into the Blautalón lake last Friday, all passengers on board escaped unharmed but dozens of litres of oil spilled into the water.
Since then, a promotional video was found that featured what appeared to be reckless driving, and photos of previous accidents involving Tatrabus were uncovered, as well as photos of off-road driving, which is expressly illegal in Iceland for conservationist reasons.
This resulted in many Icelanders posting their complaints about the company on Tatrabus’ Facebook wall. Many if not most of these comments were deleted, although Grapevine has screenshots of many of these posts available.
Yesterday, managing director of Adventura Petr Novotný sent us a lengthy statement, defending his company and lambasting his critics.
Petr contends that partially to blame for the accident was the fact that a route for the bus to take was recommended by a local ranger. During a return trip, part of the road gave out, sending the bus into the lake:
Meanwhile, we confirmed we would pay all the costs connected with the extrication of the vehicle and entire cleaning of the remaining traces around the lake Blautulon. We also immediatelly confirmed we would pay all the expenses to Icelandic Red Cross as well. Most of the financial resources have already been sent.
Petr is also less than happy with the criticism his company has received.
At the same time we have noticed quite an unexpected wave of negative comments from the Icelandic media and citizens. We did not get any space or chance for any explanation or defense. Our promotional videos and spots have been stolen and misused. Our pictures are deliberately modified and real blow below the belt is suppossedly a quick wade of our vehicle across the river. The original image over the swollen river while our tatrabus actually helps to pull off another car is interrupted and modified. We are portrayed as a problematic agent. A number of comments is beyond polite expressions, they are vulgar and often xenophobic.
We understand the indignation of Icelandic citizens and in any case we would not allowed to doubt the seriousness of the situation and we are really very sorry that the accident occurred. We will do everything that a similar situation in the future could never be repeated.
Nevertheless, we consider our condemnation as unfair and incorrect.
The full statement from the company can be read here.