Recently, two foreign tourists have been killed at popular tourist attractions where signage was inadequate, opening up a debate regarding security issues, writes Fréttabladid.
Earlier this month, a German tourist fell to his death at Látrabjarg cliff. This Saturday, a Frenchman drowned while diving in the fissure Silfra at Thingvellir after having tried to rescue his fiancé who was stuck between two rocks.
Thingvellir. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
In Iceland, sport diving security is not adequate, according to geographer Jónína Ólafsdóttir who wrote her dissertation on the topic. Silfra neither has information signs nor oxygen reserves despite all the traffic in the area. Also, surveillance over companies which offer sport diving is inadequate and regulations obsolete.
Director-General of Tourism Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir is working on developing a quality standard for Icelandic tourism. There, security will be taken into special consideration.
“One of the things that must be considered is how best to ensure the safety of travelers around Iceland. It is necessary to enlighten tourists about the dangers that can lie within popular natural attractions, whether it is with greater education or more informational signage.”
She thinks it is unlikely that signage at Silfra would have made a difference this weekend. “This seems to have been a human tragedy. It is impossible to completely prevent accidents when human behavior is involved. Signage on its own won’t make a difference. Even though there is certainly room for improvement where signage is concerned, I doubt that it would have prevented this accident. However, until the facts of the matter have come to light, it is impossible to say.”