Blessed by nature, and made well-known by the favored TV hit collection Sport of Thrones, Iceland has turn into one of many world’s hottest international locations. Vacationers flock there in droves to get pleasure from street journeys round its magic circle, to see its magnificent volcanic panorama, sulphur swimming pools, lagoons, icebergs, waterfalls and its unbelievable Northern Lights. And that is regardless of being a notoriously costly to go to.
This will likely sound like nice information for any nation however for Iceland being a vacationer entice has turn into a menace to its magnificence. Iceland’s authorities is now contemplating a vacationer tax. The choice can be to restrict sightseers’ entry to the nation’s hottest spots.
“All of us need to watch out to not turn into victims of our personal success,” Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, Iceland’s tourism minister, mentioned in a latest interview in Reykjavik.
She might have a very good level. Guests’ numbers have grown from 490,000 in 2010 to an estimated 2.three million this yr. To place that into perspective, Iceland’s inhabitants totals lower than 340,000. In earnings phrases the forecast for 2017 is 560 billion kronur ($5.1 billion), in accordance with Islandsbanki, the nation’s second-largest lender.
What’s the priority?
Nonetheless, the priority is that the pure treasures could also be destroyed by the sheer weight of tourism. Gylfadottir worries that overcrowding might destroy the expertise for guests and spoil pure treasures akin to Thingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, and the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon on the island’s southeastern coast.
The tourism minister warned “Some areas are merely unable to facilitate 1 million guests yearly. If we permit extra folks into areas like that, we’re shedding what makes them particular – distinctive pearls of nature which can be part of our picture and of what we’re promoting.”
If the tax hike goes forward, it will improve the already hefty vacation cash vacationers must spend. In line with Islandsbanki, lodge rooms are sometimes a 3rd dearer than in different Nordic capitals and the price of alcohol virtually double than the EU common worth.
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