American Tourists To Outnumber Iceland’s Population

American Tourists To Outnumber Iceland’s Population

Signe Smala
Words by
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published October 20, 2016

It is expected that, at the end of this year, the number of American tourists who have visited Iceland in 2016 will grow beyond 332,000 people. This will mark the first time in history that these friendly western visitors in a span of a year will have outnumbered the population of Iceland.

Currently, 325,000 American tourists constitute a major portion of international travelers in Iceland. Since 2003, when a more comprehensive data collection about this industry was introduced, they have continuously held the front position in the most common nationality amongst visitors. However, they are not the only ones who have taken interest in the land of windy moors.

The last two years have brought an exponential increase in tourism to Iceland. Compared to 2010, the number of tourists has more than tripled, reaching almost 2 million this year, wheres the number of American travelers is roughly six times bigger than at the start of this decade.

When discussing possible causes for this camera-loving and umbrella-killing people boom in Iceland, some point to the infamous Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010, which made all eyes in Europe and America turn to this rocky, yet beautiful, island. It was soon followed by a successful tourism PR campaign, and the introduction of WOW Air.

All these factors, amongst others, have contributed to the boom in the Icelandic tourism industry.


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