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 was to illuminate the tourism industry’s experiences of hosting and interacting with Chinese tourists, identifying issues, challenges and opportunities. Data was collected by taking twelve interviews with selected representatives of the tourism industry.

The findings were published as a book chapter in the book Asian Mobilities Consumption in a Changing Arctic (2022). Young-Sook Lee (The Arctic University of Norway) was the editor. Preparations for the project started in the autumn of 2019 but the data collection took take place in spring and summer of 2020.

A report with the research findings was published in icelandic in the spring of 2021. The report can be found here.

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