Iceland is small—four times smaller than Paraguay and 22 times smaller than next-door Greenland. Australia is 77 times larger while CAR is six times the size of Iceland, Sweden four and a half times larger, Uganda and the U.K. two and a half times bigger. Meanwhile, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska are twice the size of the Republic of Iceland and Cuba is 14 percent larger.
Speaking of numbers, more than one tenth of Iceland is covered in glaciers.
And this year, one million tourists will visit this small North Atlantic island—half a million more than just five years ago.
Klondike is what I call the situation. Everyone wants their cut, wants to earn money from all the visitors visiting Iceland.
Two days ago, land owners in the Geysir area started to charge people ISK 600 (USD 5, EUR 4) for looking at the geysers. That is wrong. Totally wrong.
They have hired around 15 people to be gate keepers. Bouncers.
Is this what Iceland will become, the locals in low paid jobs in the tourist industry tearing tickets?
And a lot of them. Six hundred thousand visitors stopped at the geyser area last year.
The next step: every tourist visiting in Iceland will receive, free of charge, very dark glasses when they arrive at Keflavík International Airport so he or she cannot see the northern lights—unless they pay ISK 2,500 (USD 22, EUR 16).
About 300 police officers will be hired to check whether tourists have paid their glasses removal tax (GRT) so that they can view the northern lights.
Páll Stefánsson - [email protected]