Nearly One Guest Per Inhabitant of Iceland
The Fagradalsfjall eruption site in Southwest Iceland remains a popular tourist attraction, even though no volcanic activity has been detected there since September 18, Morgunblaðið reports.
According to the Icelandic Tourist Dashboard, about 250 people visited the site Saturday, and almost as many on Friday. Since the eruption started March 19, close to 358,600 tourists have visited the area. By comparison, the population of Iceland is 376,000.
“There is considerable traffic in the area on a nice day, especially on weekends,” states Grindavík Mayor Fannar Jónasson. “The people counter shows that quite a few people go there, and it doesn’t even catch everyone.”
Most of the visitors these days are Icelandic, he states. He expects that to change before long. “The area is not being constantly monitored, the way it used to be,” he notes. “Once the influx of foreign tourists begins, then we expect traffic to increase, and we’ll be ready if needed.”
Fannar expects foreign tourists to be interested in visiting the site. “They will be interested in seeing the newest lava, and it helps how accessible it is and close to the airport,” he states. “It doesn’t hurt to have plenty of attractions in Grindavík and a number of good restaurants. I expect them to become fully booked this summer, as they were last summer.”
He states it is impossible to tell what the situation will be like this summer. “We hope the eruption is over, but it’s hard to tell. Geologists tell us a new period has begun, so we’ll just have to wait and see,” he concludes.