Chinese tourists are the biggest spenders among visitors to Iceland, followed by Russians—who usually pay in cash—according to new statistics.
Laugavegur shopping street in downtown Reykjavík. Photo: Bernhild Vogel.
The latest figures from Iceland Global Blue show that Chinese tourists spend on average ISK 24,147 (USD 200, EUR 152) per day, compared to the average tourist who spends ISK 15,570 (USD 130, EUR 100). Russian visitors spend on average ISK 20,390.
Rammagerðin Iceland Giftstore store manager Andrea Falkvard told Fréttablaðið that her experience with Chinese tourists is that they tend to buy quality goods. “The Chinese perhaps don’t buy so many items but they buy quality goods,” she said, adding that Russians tourists also spend a lot.
According to Kristján Másson at Iceland Global Blue, visitors from these two countries spend a considerable amount of money given that they only make up a small proportion of the total number of visitors to Iceland.
Five years ago a lot of souvenirs found in Iceland were made in China, Andrea says, but they are being replaced with locally-made goods.