From Iceland — Tour Buses Downtown Causing "Unbearable" Situation

Tour Buses Downtown Causing “Unbearable” Situation

Published October 26, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Halldór Bragason

Both downtown Reykjavík residents and tour bus drivers alike have grown increasingly frustrated with conflicts that have arisen between them, centering around the boarding and offloading of tourists downtown.

Vísir reports that tour bus drivers have gotten in numerous arguments with Reykjavík residents downtown over blocked traffic, crowded sidewalks and noise during the boarding and offloading of tourists. Residents and drivers alike have expressed concerns that the situation is becoming unbearable.

Hjálmar Sveinsson, the head of the Environment and Planning Committee for the City of Reykjavík, told reporters that over the next days and weeks, the city will speak with the major players in the situation to try and work out a solution. A special work group has also been assembled to try and tackle this problem.

“It is of course unbearable,” Hjálmar said of the situation. “It’s a sign that tourism, as it’s developing, is pushing residents out of the city.”

While there are rules in place regarding where tour buses can drive and park downtown, tourism has been growing beyond expectations, necessitating another look at how best to manage the sheer numbers of people who visit Iceland’s capital every year.

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