Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


64% of Icelanders positive toward foreign travellers, just 10.5% hold negative views

By Staff

  • Enjoying the view While fewer Icelanders view tourism positively it has not led to an increase in the number of those viewing foreign travellers negatively. Photo/Raffale Piano

The vast majority of Icelanders are positive toward the growing number of foreign travellers who visit Iceland, a new poll reveals. Only 10.5% of Icelanders hold negative views of foreign travellers, while 64% hold positive views and 25% report they are indifferent. 

The poll, conducted by the local polling firm MMR, reveals that that the share of Icelanders who are positive toward tourism has dropped slightly from last year when 68% reported positive views, while the share of those with negative views has dropped by 0.9%, from 11.5% in 2016 to 10.4% this year. A more dramatic change has occurred long-term in the positive views. In 2015 80% said they were positive toward tourism, which means that the number of Icelanders who view foreign travellers positively has dropped by more than 15% in the past 2 years.   

Views of foreign travellers

Views of foreign travellers Growing less positive, but still only a small fraction negative. Photo/MMR-Iceland Magazine

Reykjavík residents are more likely to be positive toward foreign travellers than people outside the Metropolitan area. 67.5% of people living in the greater Reykjavík area said they were positive toward foreign travellers, while 58.0% of those living outside of the capital said they were positive.

Positive views and income were also positively correlated, with the lowest income bracket registering the most negative views of tourism. Just 53% of those with household incomes below 400,000 ISK per month (46,000 USD/39,000 annually) hold positive views of tourism, and 13% reporting negative views. However, the least positive and most negative views were held by the voters of the socially conservative agrarian Progressive Party. 22.7% of the voters of the Progressive Party are negative toward tourism.

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