Anna Dóra Sæþórsdóttir, associate professor in tourism studies at the University of Iceland, carried out a survey for the Icelandic Tourist Board last summer, asking 12,000 visitors about their perception of eight popular destinations in Iceland, two of which the majority of respondents commented were overcrowded, ruv.is reports.
The eight destinations surveyed were Djúpalónssandur beach on Snæfellsnes peninsula and Hraunfossar waterfalls in Borgarfjörður, West Iceland, Geysir geothermal area, Þingvellir National Park and Sólheimajökull glacier, South Iceland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Southeast Iceland, Seltún geothermal area on Reykjanes peninsula, Southwest Iceland, and Þórsmörk oasis near Eyjafjallajökull in the southern highlands.
Anna’s findings were that the foreign tourists were mostly positive towards Iceland, but the majority stated that they found the Geysir area and Jökulsárlón to be overcrowded.
Anna commented that the strain placed by all these tourists on Icelandic nature is worrying, that alarms have started ringing and that we need to address the problem.
Last year more than one million tourists visited Iceland, while this year they could exceed 1.3 million, an increase equaling the entire population of Iceland.