Margeir Vilhjálmsson, Managing director of Geysir Car Rental, believes that too few tourists are coming to Iceland each year and that ‘tourism’ will not be a ‘real’ industry in the country until it begins attracting 3 million tourists annually, RÚV reports.
“It is my opinion that travelers in the country are, unfortunately, too few. Too few. The tourism industry will not be a real sector until we see 3 million tourists per year in Iceland who stay for an average of 5 nights each, resulting in 15 million room nights per year,” said Margeir. “If tourists are spread out evenly throughout the year that means 40,000 tourists in the country at all times, meaning there would be just 360,000 people in the country, residents and tourists combined.”
Margeir recognizes that certain parts of the country are nearing capacity with the 900,000 tourists currently flocking to Iceland each year, but that focus needs to be placed on spreading the tourists out so that the 3 million mark can be comfortably hit.
“What places are tourists aiming for? It’s Þingvellir, Gullfoss, and Geysir. We are pumping tourists into this product that’s called the Golden Circle. But there are a lot of other natural wonders in the country. There are many and we have no way of assessing how many people are visiting other areas in order to build of other products,” said Margeir. “We should show people more places and build up more tourists attractions.”