The number of foreign travellers at Keflavík International Airport this April was 3.9 percent lower than April of last year, RÚV reports. This represents the first decrease in the number of foreign visitors to Iceland since 2010.
Icelandic Travel Industry Association Director Helga Árnadóttir says though the industry has seen signs of decreasing numbers, they are unexpectedly large. “This change is speeding up or taking place more suddenly than we expected,” she stated. Helga says Iceland’s competitiveness as a tourist destination is decreasing, which she attributes to rising prices and lack of infrastructure.
Minister of Tourism Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir says one month’s numbers do not necessarily represent a trend, and are not the only indicator of the important industry’s health. “The number of tourists is not that which matters most, rather that we are looking at their distribution and their satisfaction when they come, the satisfaction of locals, spending, length of their stay, all of that, and that’s why I have been focusing on increased research and analysis,” Þórdís Kolbrún remarked.