Iceland, drop, fall, tourists, visitors, Keflavik, overtourism, passengers, 2018, decline, percent, Chinese, trend, chaos
Blue Lagoon

First drop in Iceland visitor numbers in years

New statistics for April issued by the Iceland Tourist Board and airport operator Isavia show a sudden change.

The number of departures of foreign passengers via Reykjavik’s Keflavik International Airport stood at 147,000 in April, a decline of 6,000 from the same month last year, Iceland Monitor reports.

According to these figures, which are from the Iceland Tourist Board and airport operator Isavia, this is a fall of 3.9% – and the first time tourist numbers have declined since 2010.

According to the stats, the nationalities that visited Iceland the most in April were British and American, but the biggest decrease in tourists was from China, a drop of 30.9%.

No analysis on why this anomaly occurred has yet been released. However, IceNews has reported in the past on how the airport is “in frequent chaos” with the ever-rising tide of passengers “bordering on uprisings”.

The terminal is becoming “unstable” according to Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, the local police chief.

On target
Nevertheless, Isavia’s forecast for the number of international passengers passing through Keflavik during 2018 remains on target for another record.

In 2017, 8.76 million passengers passed through the airport, already a record number, up by two million passengers on the previous year, or 28%. These figures were consistent with Isavia’s passenger forecast, which predicted 8.75 million.

According to the operator’s 2018 passenger forecast, passengers will continue to rise in number, with 10.4 million passengers expected to pass through the airport during the year. Around 40% of these will be transfer passengers.

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