Chinese tourists in Iceland

The number of Chinese tourists in Iceland has steadily increased over the last few years and this new market has the potential to become an important group in Icelandic tourism in the future. However, Chinese tourists come from a very different cultural background than the source markets that have traditionally been the most important markets for tourism in Iceland. These include markets such as Germany, France, UK, USA and the other Nordic countries.

Very little is known about how the Icelandic tourism industry is responding to and experiencing this new group of tourists. The aim of this research project is to illuminate the tourism industry’s experiences of hosting and interacting with Chinese tourists, identifying issues, challenges and opportunities. Data will be collected by taking interviews with selected representatives of the tourism industry.

The findings will be published as a book chapter in a book about Asian tourist in the Arctic. Young-Sook Lee (The Arctic University of Norway) is the editor and the book is scheduled to be released in 2021. Preparations for the project started in the autumn of 2019 but the data collection will take place in spring 2020.

Project manager is Vera Vilhjálmsdóttir [verav@rmf.is], researcher at ITRC, with contributions from Guðrún Þóra Gunnarsdóttir (ITRC) and Rosemary Black (Charles Sturt University).