Tourism Safety: Deaths Decreased, Injuries Increased - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Tourism Safety: Deaths Decreased, Injuries Increased

Published March 4, 2016

Photos by
Raffaele Piano

While tourism-related deaths have decreased in recent years, injuries are on the rise. A Rescue Squad employee believes this reality stresses the need to make popular tourist spots safer.

RÚV reports that where the issue of tourism safety is concerned, Iceland gets mixed reviews. The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) has compiled data going back to 1997 regarding tourists both foreign and domestic.

According to their findings, fatal accidents involving tourism have been on the wane since 2007, although 2013 and 2015 are exceptions. Most fatalities occurred either in the Highlands or on the national highway that circles the country.

At the same time, the police say that injuries in tourism-related situations have been on the rise. In fact, 12 people have broken bones from slipping on the ice at Gullfoss over the period of just three months.

ICE-SAR spokesperson Jónas Guðmundsson told reporters that these figures underline the need to build up the infrastructure of the tourism industry to make it safer.

“The tourism infrastructure needs to be built up, to set up railed bridges and such,” he said. “A lot of money has to be put in the road system, and additional funding must be provided for education and prevention.”

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