The Icelandic Tourist Board’s development fund will this spring provide a total of ISK 647 million (EUR 4.6 million/USD 5.1 million) to 66 projects.
The 66 projects are located all over Iceland and the industry and trade minister, Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, has already approved the grants, according to RÚV.
37 of the projects center on improving safety features at tourist sites. The highest single grants awarded are ISK 30 million each, which go to four different projects. They are awarded to projects by Dynjandi waterfall in the West Fjords, Geysir, Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park, and Dettifoss waterfall. A map of all the sites can be seen here.
This is the first new round of grants awarded since the fund changed its working regulations at the beginning of this year. The change has removed the need for sites owned or cared for by the State to provide matching contributions in order to receive funding, and that the matching funding required from sites owned or cared for by municipalities or private bodies has gone down from 50 percent to 20.
A statement from the Ministry of Industries and Innovation says that the Tourist Board has now started going over old grant payments to ensure the better use of funds awarded; as the new working rules also allow the fund to more easily stop payments or demand remuneration from projects which are not achieving the results promised.