Iceland Tourism Prepares for a Comeback

October 19, 2020
Iceland Tourism Prepares for a Comeback

This 12 months, the Icelandic govt is investing about 1.7 billion Icelandic krona (about $12.3 million) in infrastructure at both equally community and non-public tourist places across the country, reported Skarphedinn Berg Steinarsson, director normal of the Icelandic Tourist Board. Around 1 billion krona has been set apart for infrastructure at countrywide parks, guarded parts and significant general public vacationer web pages, even though 700 million krona is heading into the country’s Vacationer Website Security Fund. The investments were being currently getting prepared past calendar year, but the government improved the funding immediately after the pandemic hit. Further more investments will support harbor and highway enhancements all through the region.

The enhancements at tourist web pages have two targets, Mr. Steinarsson stated in an interview, “allowing them to obtain more substantial numbers — building parking spaces, walking paths, and so on. — but also preserving the character to make certain that the web pages will not be worn down when we get the people back again.”

The premier grants from the Vacationer Site Protection Fund are supporting the construction of a viewing system on Bolafjall Mountain in the Westfjords, he mentioned, as well as infrastructure at Studlagil Canyon, where a viewing platform is currently being mounted as nicely as new walkways, bathrooms and details signs. These advancements are intended to preserve travelers safe and sound (the Bolafjall site options a steep cliff), although also protecting the landscape from environmental damage and enhancing the overall visitor experience.

The Studlagil Canyon is an instance of a phenomenon that is not unusual in Iceland: a site that was designed not by the hosts, but by the visitors. The canyon — which attributes extraordinary basalt-column cliffs lining the banking institutions of a glacial-fed river — was “discovered” as an beautiful spot only not long ago, Mr. Steinarsson explained, after the river’s move was built considerably calmer subsequent the construction of a close by hydroelectric plant.

“This is just one of all those web sites that are created on social media,” Mr. Steinarsson stated. “But there is no infrastructure there, no parking web-sites, no bogs. What takes place when you start out permitting 100,000 or 500,000 website visitors? Almost everything will get torn down due to the fact practically nothing is designed to accommodate that.”

Now the governing administration is functioning with the homeowners of the land to build pathways, parking spaces and bathrooms. The aim, Mr. Steinarsson explained, is to make certain that readers can love the web-site “without spoiling nearly anything.”

The variety of infrastructure being set up at Studlagil is currently in position at most of Iceland’s more proven locations, notably in the Golden Circle — an space not significantly from Reykjavik that contains some of the country’s most well known vacationer places: Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Location and Thingvellir Nationwide Park, between other spots. Even though the infrastructure in all those locations is now pretty great, Mr. Steinarsson claimed, any areas that are particularly fragile will require continuous maintenance — and funding — to safeguard from injury from guests.

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