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Campers Criticized by Hotel Owners

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Campers Criticized by Hotel Owners

Mývatn

Lake Mývatn, near Hótel Reykjahlíð. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

There is increasing discontent among those who run tourist services towards tourists who travel the country in campers. On the Facebook page Bakland ferðaþjónustunnar, where people in the travel industry voice their concerns, the discussion in recent days has been about just that.

Clearly, demand for campers has increased and the companies which rent them are many, including Kúkú Campers, Happy Campers, Campervan Iceland, Trig Campers, JS Camper Rental and Iceland Mini Campers. In the summer time, tourists who rent campers are expected to spend the night at campsites, bust most of those are closed in winter, forcing the tourists to camp elsewhere.

Æsa Gísladóttir, hotel director at Norður-Vík, South Iceland, is frustrated by the camper renters, who park their vehicles in the hotel parking lot, use its restrooms and internet, and even ask to borrow utensils from the hotel kitchen; all that without paying a penny.

She told Vísir she finds it unfair that guests who pay for their accommodation must share the facilities with these people and stand with them in line for the restroom. She stated that if the people don’t go to the bathroom indoors, they find a place close by, outdoors, to answer the call of nature.

Æsa would like the camper rental companies to urge their customers not to park anywhere they please and expect to be able to use the services of hotels for which other guests must pay.

Hotel Director Pétur Snæbjörnsson, Hótel Reykjahlíð, North Iceland, has a similar complaint. Almost every night, campers are parked in the hotel parking lot. He criticizes the fact that the camper rental companies are allowed to operate in winter when all campsites are closed. But even in summer, he believes those who travel in campers avoid parking at campsites except as a last resort.

“People all over the country are battling this,” he told Vísir.

CEO of KúKú Campers, Lárus Guðbjartsson, told Vísir the company urges its customers to use restrooms at gas stations and tells them not to park near campsites in order to use the facilities for free. Lárus belives about 90 percent of his customers park at campsites. Furthermore, he claims that by renting the campers, he enables more people to visit the country, since accommodation is often fully booked in summer.

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