On the Facebook page of the travel agency Guide to Iceland, there is a video of someone swimming in Brimketill, a geological formation and natural lagoon on the Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland, RÚV reports. There are signs in the vicinity warning against swimming in the area.
Þuríður Halldóra Aradóttir Braun, director of the Reykjanes marketing office, says the publication of the video was very irresponsible. “At first glance, the video may appear safe and encourage our inexperienced visitors to go for a swim. The publication of the video by a tourism company is highly irresponsible and not in the spirit that Icelandic tourism wants to work towards,” she stated. “Some days the sea is quiet and the currents are calm. On other days, it is a different story. It is not certain that people can assess the situation correctly.”
After the RÚV news room got in contact with the agency, the text accompanying the video was changed. However, the video is still on Facebook, and it is highly popular, with over 463,000 views. In his response, Guide to Iceland’s social media manager Alex Michael Green claims that it was not clear to the agency that swimming in Brimketill was forbidden, citing difficulty in acquiring accurate information regarding such matters online. “Well-respected tourism operators such as Inspired by Iceland and the Reykjanes marketing office discuss Brimketill on their websites without advising people not to swim there. That’s where we received our information.”
“We are now aware that it was a big mistake to encourage people to swim in Brimketill and we have now changed the text accordingly. We regret the mistake and will not repeat it,” Alex added. The company considers it important to introduce Iceland as an exciting destination where people can enjoy nature without many people around.
According to Þuríður, a number of attempts were made to contact Guide to Iceland and insist that the video be taken down. “We expect the company to show responsibility and be a good example for others,” she remarked.