Tourists flout safety rules
Many visitors to Geysir do not follow the rules in force there, according to Garðar Eiríksson, spokesperson for the Geysir Landowners’ Association (GLA).
Nothing can be done to improve safety in the area while the tourism industry and society as a whole remain unwilling to pay for additional services, says Eiríksson. The GLA does not have a single employee in place to monitor safety or ensure that the site's 800,000 visitors per year are keeping to the rules of the site. Eiríksson puts inadequate safety down to a lack of funding. Landowners are not permitted by law to charge visitors for access to the site. “We want to improve things and have tried to do so, but things will not change until somebody decides to invest.” he adds.
Safety own responsibility
According to Skapti Örn Ólafsson, Communication Officer at the Icelandic Tourism Organisation (ITO), employees in the tourism industry cannot be held responsible for tourists who behave recklessly or irresponsibly. The ITO focuses on giving tourists information and guidelines rather than instructions and restrictions.
Recent dangerous situations encountered by tourists at Gulfoss and in Snæfellsnes have brought the issue of tourist behaviour and safety under the spotlight.