We all know Iceland is a gorgeous place. In fact, a little too many Americans know so, having overrun the country and outnumbered the locals themselves. Because of this influx in popularity, Iceland's government is considering a tourist tax, which means things could get a little more expensive for us.
Apparently Iceland's Tourism Minister, Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, is considering raising the current hotel levy, or requiring various tour companies to get a special license to operate. For us, that means costs on hotels and tours inevitably go up. Another alternative is to limit actual access to certain sights, which could potentially include the popular Blue Lagoon, Thingvellir (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Gullfoss waterfall. That's a little different altogether, as it could actually limit what we see and don't see on a short yet already-expensive trip.
Of the latter option, Gylfadottir said in an interview with Bloomberg, “Some areas are simply unable to facilitate one million visitors every year; if we allow more people into areas like that, we’re losing what makes them special—unique pearls of nature that are a part of our image and of what we’re selling”. He also said "The sector and all of us have to be careful not to become victims of our own success".
Naturally, Iceland does have its reasons. Those one million visitors that were just referenced are expected to double by 2020, making for two million travelers compared to a mere 459,000 in 2010. While we of course don't want to miss out on such a spectacular country, we also don't want to ruin it. That said, you do you, Iceland.
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