Decline In Tourism In Iceland This Year Predicted - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Decline In Tourism In Iceland This Year Predicted

Published January 29, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Raffaele Piano

The total number of arriving and departing passengers at Keflavík International Airport is expected to decrease by about 9% this year which, if this comes to pass, may indicate that tourism to Iceland is beginning to cool down. However, this metric is not the only one used to determine the number of tourists in Iceland.

Viðskiptablaðið reports that Isavia, the company which operates the airport, predicts that the total number of passengers coming and going through the terminal will decrease by 8.7% in 2019. Be that as it may, it bears mentioning that the grand total for this year is still expected to exceed the number of passengers who came through the airport in 2017 by 200,000.

If a slowdown is coming, it is happening at a rather gradual rate. Guest accommodation, another metric by which tourism is measured, showed a decline of only half a percent between 2017 and 2018.

Further, it should be pointed out that not all tourists are created equal. While Americans and Brits, the most prominent nationalities of tourists, have decreased in number, Asian tourists have been on the rise.

All this being the case, it is more likely that tourism in Iceland is rather settling into a familiar volume of maximum sustainability rather than declining to any significant degree, at least for the time being.

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