Iceland To Introduce Tourist Tax

Iceland To Introduce Tourist Tax

Iceland's magnificent and rugged natural scenery has made it a popular tourist destination for adventure seekers. People travel from all over the world to witness the volcanoes, geysers, mountains, waterfalls, and black sand beaches of Iceland.

While the large number of travellers that come to admire Iceland's natural beauty is beneficial to the country's economy, there are worries about how sustainable these numbers are, as well as the strain on infrastructure and services. 

That is why the government intends to impose a tourist tax in order to preserve Iceland's unspoilt nature.

In an interview with news agency Bloomberg, Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir stated that a tourism tax could help combat the impact visitors have on the country’s climate and environment.

“Most of our guests who are coming to us are visiting the unspoilt nature, and obviously it creates a pressure,”

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir

The country has set ambitious climate goals, including to reach net zero by 2040.

Iceland is not the first country to implement a tourism tax. Similar initiatives already exist in Rome, and Amsterdam, while Venice recently released the terms of its visitor tax.

Cost Of Iceland’s Tourist Tax

There haven't been a lot of details disclosed concerning the new tourist tax scheme. Premier Jakobsdóttir has not confirmed the fee's exact amount, but has told Bloomberg that it would “not be high to begin with.”

She said that the scheme would be introduced as city taxes for people who stay in Iceland.

Companies in country’s the tourism sector are also improving sustainability, for example by utilising the circular economy and using electric vehicles, Jakobsdóttir added.

“It is happening, but it is a challenge,”

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Tourists place a burden on infrastructure, public services, and facilities in the destinations they visit.

Tourism taxes can help deal with the strain of tourism while also discouraging visitors to limit overcrowding. It can be used to fund public transport infrastructure, repair crowd damage, and promote environmental projects.

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