Tourism turns a big headache for Iceland

Published on : Tuesday, August 22, 2017

IcelandIceland’s tourism rush helped save the once-remote island from a significant economic crisis, but now with that booming business, the North Atlantic nation is straining under the weight of the windfall.

 
Attracted by its spectacular volcanic landscape and easy air routes, about 2.2 million tourists are expected to flow into the country of 330,000 people this year, almost five times as many as in 2010. Tourism is now Iceland’s biggest industry, much ahead of fishing, which is its principal and traditional industry.

 
But now, tourism explosion has caught the government unprepared, leaving infrastructure strained and outnumbered Icelanders complaining about scarce housing, rising rental prices and roadside litter.

 
Tourism has been a mixed blessing for many destinations across the world. Many destinations worldwide are now buckling under excessive pressure of tourism.

 
In Iceland, influx of tourists are now causing serious headache for normal day-to-day life. The government held a marketing campaign that drew global attention to Iceland’s magnificent geysers, milky blue waters and craggy moonscapes. Supported by a currency still recovering from crisis and airlines offering free stopovers on their intercontinental routes, visitors flocked here.

 
Once pristine sites are now crowded, and streets are clogged with rental cars. The number of visitors to Iceland has jumped in recent years, straining infrastructure and pushing up housing prices.

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