Nature Pass to Take Effect in 2015

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Nature Pass to Take Effect in 2015

By Zoë Robert
Tourists in Iceland in winter

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A nature pass system will be implemented in Iceland at the beginning of next year, ruv.is reports. The pass will cost ISK 2,000 (USD 17, EUR 13) for four days, ISK 3,000 (USD 26, EUR 19) for one month and ISK 5,000 (USD 44, EUR 32) for five years.

The idea behind the nature pass is to collect funds for the development and maintenance of tourist attractions. The first draft of the bill is currently being reviewed for comments. 

Minister of Industry and Commerce Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir said in an interview on Kastljós news magazine earlier this week that she feels there is support for the idea. “I find that there is a lot of support when I discuss the issue with people … If we look at the polls, more than 80 percent of Icelanders support [the charging] of some sort of fee.”

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, director of Landvernd, the Icelandic Environment Association, says he is in favor of charging visitors a fee but not through the nature pass system. The organization believes that the pass would work against the public’s right to travel freely across the country and enjoy nature. Landvernd is part of the bill’s consultation group along with several outdoor organizations.

A Nature Pass Fund will be set up to oversee the allocation of funds.

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