The last week has seen regular Icelandic news stories about tourists putting themselves in danger, for example at the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and Reynisfjara beach—as well as car windows being smashed as tourists attempted to drive in Öræfasveit during a severe storm last Sunday.
Ólöf Snæhólm Baldursdóttir, information officer at ICE-SAR, says that the rescue organization tries to educate and forewarn foreign tourists, but that it can still do better and that more money is needed for the project.
“We have had the safetravel.is project where we have got tourism services and public bodies on board with us to get information communicated to foreign tourists. But we need to direct tourists better and put money into this area,” Ólöf says—adding that the rapid increase in tourist numbers has caught ICE-SAR a little off guard, Vísir reported.
Elías Gíslason, head of the tourist board office in Akureyri, does not believe the authorities have lost control of tourists, saying that the Iceland All Year Round campaign is aimed at spreading tourists over the whole year, and over the whole country, at the same time as warning them to expect all types of weather and how to react.
He adds, however, that it will probably never be possible to do anything about tourists who simply will not listen to advice.
“It is unfortunately not uncommon for people to drive past ‘closed’ signs and it’s not as if people aren’t warned about the dangers. There are, for example, signs at both Reynisfjara and Jökulsárlón with warnings on, but it seems that some simply don’t read them or just don’t take notice of what it says on the signs.”