The owners of Reykjahlíð in the Mývatnssveit area plan to charge tourists to visit some of the region’s most popular natural attractions, RÚV reports.
The owners claim that this is the only way to protect both the sights and the tourists who visit them.
Reykjahlíð covers a large section of the Mývatnssveit area including some of the most visited tourist attractions in the country, such as Dettifoss in the west, Leirhnjúkur volcano on the north east side of lake Mývatn, and the bubbling pools of mud east of Námafjall.
Ólafur H. Jónnsson, the chairperson of the landowners’ society of Reykjahlíð, said that the area around Námafjall was currently in no condition to be admitting tourists. “If truth be told, this section ought to be closed, just as Dimmuborgir was last weekend,” he told RÚV.
Ólafur says that the society plans to invest a few hundred million krónur into the sites over the next 5-6 years in order to make them safe to access. They plan to build bathroom facilities, parking lots, access for buses, walking paths, sightseeing platforms and service centres. He says that public funds will not cover the costs of the necessary changes and that the society is fully within its rights to exact a sightseeing fee.
The proposed fee is expected to take effect at the end of the year.