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Tourism in Iceland at a Turning Point

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Tourism in Iceland at a Turning Point

Camping at Landmannalaugar

Tourists in Landmannalaugar, the south-central highlands. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Iceland is at a turning point concerning strain on nature caused by tourism, according to director of the Icelandic Tourism Research Center (ITRC) Edward H. Huijbens, who hosted a conference on the issue on Thursday.

“We are at a certain turning point right now with our million visitors per year and we must decide how to respond. We might possibly be looking at profound protection of areas such as with a national park in the central highlands,” Huijbens told ruv.is.

“What we must decide is what destinations we want to build up for future masses of tourists, what destinations we want to protect and take better care of and how that corresponds with our image and the reasons for people visiting Iceland,” he added.

Huijbens stated he doubted a nature pass as favored by Minister of Industry and Commerce Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir is a good solution.

“We have a tax system for industries in Iceland and I believe if part of the taxes is dedicated to the development of infrastructure and planning for the future of tourism, that is a better way,” he concluded.

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