Foreign tourists who visit Iceland in the winter report being happier with their experience at popular tourist spots in Iceland than those who visit during the summer, RÚV reports. An expert suggests their experience may be more positive due to fewer crowds in the areas during the winter season.
The data comes from a survey carried out in South and West Iceland. “It came to light that there was a significant difference for example in satisfaction with nature and people were happier with the nature in the winter[…] it seemed that the overall number of tourists had an effect on these types of experiences for tourists in terms of satisfaction with nature,” said Anna Mjöll Guðmundsdóttir, adjunct professor of tourism studies.
Interestingly, only 74 percent of winter tourists stated that nature was the main reason they visited Iceland, compared to 83 percent of summer tourists. A larger percentage of tourists stay in the capital area in winter than in summer.
The research data was based on more than 19,000 responses from the summer of 2014 and the winter of 2015 in popular spots in the west and south of the country, such as Geysir, Þingvellir, and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Anna Mjöll states that the result can be useful in evaluating the capacity and sustainable management of tourist destinations, “because it is so important to get tourists' impressions and with such a large sample there is very good data in it. Much stronger conservation and focus on nature is necessary in all policy making.”