From Iceland — Poll: Reykjavik Icelanders Positive Towards Tourists, But Density Still A Large Concern

Poll: Reykjavik Icelanders Positive Towards Tourists, But Density Still A Large Concern

Published August 29, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Bjarni Brynjólfsson

Residents of some Reykjavík neighbourhoods say there are too many tourists where they live, but most still have positive feelings towards our visitors. These and other data points have been brought to light by a new poll conducted by Maskína for the City of Reykjavík.

According to the poll, roughly 75% of respondents have either very positive or somewhat positive feelings towards tourists in the greater Reykjavík area. Only about 5% felt any degree of negativity towards them, and the remainder were ambivalent.

Numerous other factors concerning the effects of tourism were also assessed in the poll. When asked to say if they felt there were too many, too few, or a tolerable amount of tourists in the summer months—typically Iceland’s high season for tourism—about 55% of respondents said they felt that downtown Reykjavík has a bearable number of tourists, while roughly 40% said they felt there were too many. Less than 5% felt there were too few. People who lived downtown were much more likely than others to feel there are too many tourists in downtown Reykjavík.

Where other data points are concerned, majorities of respondents believe tourists are friendly; that the city has enough to offer tourists; and that the general effect of tourists—whether on city sanitation or the quality of goods in shops and restaurants—has been mostly positive.

Overall, while the majority of Icelanders polled have positive feelings towards tourists, the density of tourists in downtown Reykjavík appears to be trying levels of tolerance. On the bright side, many people who live in east Reykjavík neighbourhoods such as Breiðholt believe there are too few tourists in their neighbourhoods, and would welcome more.

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