Cruise Tourism in Grímsey Island: an opportunity for development?

Frá Grímsey © Julie MadsenAt the beginning of 2022, the ITRC received a research grant for a research project on responsible cruise tourism on Grímsey Island from the Science Fund of the University of Akureyri.

Grímsey Island is the northernmost inhabited part of Iceland and lies within the Arctic circle. The island has become a site of stop-over for cruise ships, many of which are classified as expedition vessels. Expedition cruise vessels offer educational experiences for their passengers with environmental and cultural guides onboard.

The main objective of the research project is to study the impact and nature of cruise tourism on Grímsey. Emphasis will be placed on sustainability and the opportunities cruise tourism has for destination development. The island is part of a project by the Icelandic Regional Development Institute called Glæðum Grímsey, where the goal is to strengthen the community of Grímsey and increase employment opportunities for locals. The implementation of this research will be carried out in close collaboration with the project manager of Glæðum Grímsey.

The research will also be carried out in close collaboration with Laufey Haraldsdóttir, Assistant professor at Hólar University, who is managing a project on responsible island tourism in Grímsey. The aim is to study the impact of tourism on Grímsey and work out a strategy and action plan for tourism on the island.

The project is scheduled until December 2022.

Ása Marta Sveinsdóttir [] is managing the project together with Guðrún Þóra Gunnarsdóttir and Þórný Barðadóttir.