Too Many Tourists, Says MP

Published October 11, 2012

A member of parliament has argued that there are already too many tourists in Iceland, preventing Icelanders from getting seats at cafés and “disturbing” the experience of visiting Gullfoss and Geysir.
Tourism is a growing industry in Iceland. Over 600,000 tourists visited the country last year, and that number is expected to rise. Páll Asgeir Ásgeirsson, the chairman of the Iceland Touring Association, told radio station Rás 2 last year that he believes the time has come to place surcharges or entrance fees on some of Iceland’s more popular settings of natural beauty, such places as Þingvellir, Landmannalaugar, and Vatnajökull. Such charges would help fund the maintenance and upkeep of these places as foot traffic grows.
Þór Saari, an MP for The Movement, spoke on the radio show Reykjavík Síðdegis yesterday, expressing his concerns over what he sees as an overabundance of tourists in Iceland already. Þór contends that the tourist industry’s plans to continuously increase the number of visitors to Iceland will not work, as the country is too small to accommodate them all.
“Icelanders who go downtown to their cafés, which they’ve maybe done for years, can’t get in because they’re all full of tourists,” he said. “Tourism robs us of the environment that we live in and grew up in. We can’t go to Þingvellir anymore and enjoy standing on a ridge looking at the scenery. We can’t go to Gullfoss and Geysir anymore and enjoy it because there are thousands of foreigners there, disturbing you in your own country.”
Þór compared today’s tourist industry to the way heavy industry was once handled in the past – Iceland putting all its economic hopes into one field, and overloading it. He added that other members of parliament agreed with him, although he did not mention who they were.
“There is the sentiment among members of parliament that there are too many tourists and we need to do something about it,” he said, but claimed many were afraid of going up against the tourist industry. Amongst themselves, he claims, MPs do believe there are too many tourists, but they do not know what, exactly, to do about it.



News
Prime Minister Is Being “Bullied”, Says Progressive MP

Prime Minister Is Being “Bullied”, Says Progressive MP

by

Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson is not being criticised for poor performance; he’s just being bullied, says an MP from

News
Hlemmur The Food Market?

Hlemmur The Food Market?

by

As Reykjavík takes control of downtown bus station Hlemmur, the mayor speculates that it could take the form of a

News
Supreme Court Postpones “Lava Friends” Sentence

Supreme Court Postpones “Lava Friends” Sentence

by

The Supreme Court ruled that they would postpone sentencing the “Lava Friends” protesters who were arrested for trying to stop

News
The Icelandic Myth In Spanish Media

The Icelandic Myth In Spanish Media

by

Over the last few years, a myth of sorts has developed around Iceland’s response to the economic crash. At some

News
Agent Fresco Release New Single “See Hell”

Agent Fresco Release New Single “See Hell”

by

Math-rockers Agent Fresco have just released their newest single “See Hell.” Check out the video below. “See Hell” deals with

News
Hjaltalín Releases New Song

Hjaltalín Releases New Song

by

One of Iceland’s prominent indie-pop bands, Hjaltalín, has just released a new song “We Will Live For Ages” on their Soundcloud.

Show Me More!