Almost 98% of Icelanders polled on the subject have a positive opinion of tourists in their country, including those who live in areas particularly dense with tourists.
Kjarninn reports that, according to a poll conducted by Maskína, only 2.3% of respondents in the capital area said they had a negative opinion of tourists in Iceland. Of those, only 0.3% described their animosity as “very negative”; the remaining 2% went with “rather negative”. This figure only went as high as 3.1% for those living in the 101 postal code, which encompasses downtown Reykjavík and experiences very high concentrations of tourists.
Icelanders also had overwhelmingly good experiences when interacting with tourists. 91.8% of capital area Icelanders described tourists as being rather to very friendly with the locals, while only 0.7% described tourists as unfriendly.
The results are particularly interesting when compared to how Icelanders regard their own hospitality: 61.9% said they believed Icelanders were good hosts, 31.4% said Icelanders were passable as hosts, and 6.7% said Icelanders are not good hosts.
Einar Bárðarson, chairperson of Höfuðborgarstofa, welcomed the news as a sign that Icelanders are more accepting of the growing tourist industry than expected.
“This is good news, and shows that the outlook of us locals towards tourists is more positive than many might have suspected,” he said. “The results of the poll give us an idea of the tolerance levels of society, and will prove an important data point in the work Reykjavík is doing in this area.”