Iceland is a place that has experienced an exponential growth in tourism over the last decade or so. It seems like nowadays everyone you know has either visited the country, has read about it or wants to go eventually. But this relatively recent tourism boom comes at a price. The country’s officials have begun creating measures to raise awareness and help travelers visit Iceland responsibly. Let’s see how Iceland’s tourism sector has changed.

A couple of tourist as an example of Iceland's Tourism Sector growth

When you have over two million people visiting a country that’s home to just under 340,000 people, it makes sense that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. While the influx of visitors has been a boon to the Icelandic economy, the effects of so many people visiting are becoming evident. Luckily, most of Iceland’s visitors are aware of and respectful of the fact that they are guests and as such, want to take good care of the country’s beauty and natural assets.

New hotels, tour companies and operators, information centers, and even special museums are popping up all of the island to accommodate all of these new visitors. Sleepy village and towns have become destinations for travelers who want to experience Iceland outside of just Reykjavik. One downside of this is that prices have increased for everyone, and this has upset some locals.

Tourist gathering at certain points is a consequence of Iceland's Tourism Industry growth

Almost everyone visiting Iceland flies into Reykjavik. That means that the city and its environs are among the most visited spots. Taking short trips from the country’s capital is a popular way to see Iceland. Many of the people who travel to Iceland will frequent the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle route, both of which are day trip options from Reykjavik.

Those who have a little bit more time to spend on the island usually rent a car or motorhome and explore part or all of Iceland’s Ring Road. This circular route goes all the way around the island and is 1,332 km (828 mi) long. The most popular part of the route (besides Reykjavik) is the south coast of Iceland. It’s here that you’ll find some of the country’s most iconic waterfalls. It is also home to the famous black sand beaches of Vik and even Jökullsárlón glacier lagoon, which lies in the southeastern part of Vatnajökull National Park. If you do decide to visit this part of the island, be sure to plan your trip and book accommodation well in advance. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who will be experiencing all this wonderful region has to offer.

Some hiking areas are not well prepared for the Iceland's Tourism Industry growth as we can see in the picture, the lack of signs in a hiking path

The Growth in Iceland’s Tourism Sector – A New Challange To Face

One unexpected bonus of the newfound interest in Iceland in the shift in local economies. In the past, young people left their towns and village. Nowadays they can search for jobs in the place where they grew up. Many are able to stay and work as tour guides or hold other positions in the tourism sector. This means they are able to stay closer to their families, which is very important to Icelanders.

We hope that when you visit, you enjoy your time. Please, also be respectful of Iceland’s nature and the places you go. We love Iceland and are sure you will too!

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