This year will be record-breaking in terms of foreign tourists coming to Iceland, according to the Icelandic Tourist Board. Their number is expected to exceed 600,000, which means that the number of foreign tourists in Iceland has doubled in ten years.
Travelers in the Icelandic highlands. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Where do all these people come from?
The statistics from January to November show that most foreign visitors come from the United States, or 74,849 so far, up by 52.8 percent from last year, and claiming the top spot from the UK.
Number two is the UK with 62,774 visitors, followed by Germany with 55,867 tourists and Norway with 40,507 visitors. Denmark places fifth with 39,389 tourists visiting Iceland.
The Icelandic Tourist Board collects information about tourists visiting Iceland. Sixty years ago, in 1951, 4,084 foreign tourists visited Iceland. Ten years later they numbered 13,500, while Iceland had approximately 60,000 foreign visitors in 1971.
The first time more than 100,000 tourists came to Iceland in one year was 1986. Ten years later, in 1996, they numbered 200,835 and four years after that, in 2000, 302,900.