Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, Icelandic minister for tourism, says she fears that a long period of industrial action will have a negative impact on the number of tourists visiting Iceland, adding that the situation is extremely serious.
Tourism has beaten both heavy industry and fisheries in recent years to become Iceland’s biggest earner of foreign capital and around a million tourists are expected to visit the country this year.
The ongoing strikes by tens-of-thousands of workers in a variety of different industries, as well as other strikes planned for the future, could see the number of visitors decrease, as the strikes are likely to impact the tourism sector disproportionately, Vísir reported.
“We know it ourselves, when we’re organizing our trips, that if we foresee any problems our first reaction is to try and get out of it, and that is extremely serious,” Ragnheiður said. “Iceland is not the only country in the world battling with conflict in the workplace and we know of examples of these sorts of actions in other countries, but everywhere it has a negative effect.”