During last summer tourist who wanted to visit the geothermal area at Hveragerði, in the South of Iceland had to pay a fee of 200 ISK (1.20 EURO, 1.65 USD). This was meant to be trial to see if it would put off tourists or if they would be willing to pay knowing that the money would go to building up the area and maintaining walking paths etc. Even if the number of tourists visiting Hveragerði did in fact decrease they don’t think it’s related to the fee, since there was a decrease of visitors in the area around it as well.
There has been a huge discussion about the subject of putting fees on some of the more visited areas, such as Geysir, Þingvellir etc. As of next year you will have to pay a fee to visit Geysir, but if this will be the only place is yet to see.
When I first heard of the fee discussion I was totally against it, but then I started thinking. The money will go to maintaining the areas and that might be a good thing. Seeing as how many tourists visit these places every year it does cause a lot of damage to the areas. As far as I know the fee will be low and used for a good cause, so maybe this is acceptable? My only hope is that they won’t put fees on too many places scaring off too many tourists. But I do think it’s worth a try. These are places we need to preserve before they become to worn down and worst case scenario, will have to be closed.
What do you think? Are you willing to pay a small fee to see some of the most famous, and therefore most visited places in Iceland?