Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Travel

Record increase in the number of foreign travellers in 2016

By Staff

  • Dramatic growth The number of foreign travellers has grown consistently since the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption put Iceland squarely on the map. Photo/Iceland Magazine.

Last year set a new record in the growth of tourism, with nearly 40% more people visiting Iceland in 2016 than in the year before. This is the largest year-over-year increase since 2010 when the tourism industry took off in Iceland.

According to preliminary figures the number of foreign travellers visiting Iceland in 2016 was at least 1,785,000, based on figures from Keflavík airport and estimates of the number of people who arrived thoruhg smaller airports and by boat. When final figures have been compiled the total could top 1.8 million, according to the local TV station Stöð 2.

A 60 year old record has been shattered
The number of foreign visitors in 2015 was 1,262,000. The number has grown every year since 2011, when the effects of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption kicked in, growing from 459,000 in 2010. 

The increase between in 2015 and 2016 39% is the largest year-over-year increase in the number of foreign travellers on record, beating the previous record which was set in 1955 when the number of foreign visitors jumped 38,5% from the year before. The number of foreign visitors to Iceland in 1954 had been 6,800, but was 9,500. 

Growth in foreign travellers 2005-2016
Annual increase since 2005 The effect of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption is clearly evident Photo/Iceland Magazine

 

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