The use of pay toilets at Þingvellir National Park was praised by the committee in charge of the area, while the concept of charging admission fees at some of Iceland’s more famous locations was dismissed.
At a meeting held at Selfoss last Friday on outdoor life, tourism, and nature conservation, a discussion began about the possibility of charging admission to places such as Gullfoss and Geysir. Chairman of the Iceland Touring Association Páll Asgeir Ásgeirsson floated the idea last spring, pointing out that maintaining these places of natural beauty costs money, and tourism continues to rise.
Many tourists have in fact expressed surprise, he said, that access to many of these places is free of charge, as similar sites in other countries almost always charge for access.
Leftist-Green MP Álfheiður Ingadóttir, who is also chairperson of the Þingvellir Committee, told RÚV she was “against the idea of charging money for access to Icelandic nature itself.” However, she did praise the use of pay toilets at Þingvellir; a recent change that she says has been going well.
It should be noted that use of the pay toilets costs either one euro or 200 ISK, making it more expensive to use the bathroom if you pay in crowns – there are about 160 crowns to each euro, by the exchange rates listed at the time of this writing.