Icelanders Travel Less in Iceland Skip to content
Photo: Ian Funk.

Icelanders Travel Less in Iceland

Icelandic residents travelled significantly less often within Iceland during the summer of 2018, RÚVreports. This was especially true of Reykjavík residents, for whom poor weather in Southwest Iceland may have played a part. The data comes from a survey on travel habits carried out for the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration.

About 22% of respondents, or 50% more than in 2014, stated the number of foreign tourists affected their travel plans during last summer. A total of 68% stated they had stopped visiting popular tourist destinations due to the number of foreign tourists, a decrease from 76% in 2014. While 16% stated they couldn’t book accommodation because it was fully booked by foreign tourists, 10% mentioned difficulties in making restaurant reservations for the same reason. Others stated that foreign drivers were unsafe, often stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures.

The average number of trips Reykjavík residents make outside the capital area has been steadily decreasing since 2007. While 11 years ago residents of Iceland’s capital city took an average of 12 trips out of the city during the summer, they took only six in 2018. Icelanders in general appear to be going abroad instead, making on average three trips outside Iceland in 2018, a number that has risen steadily since 2010.

The youngest age group of survey respondents was the only one which travelled more inland in 2018 than 2017. Overall, private vehicles were used for 87% of trips, while 8% travelled as passengers in someone else’s car, and 5% travelled by bus or airplane.

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