From Iceland — Harbour Considering Levying Tourist Fees

Harbour Considering Levying Tourist Fees

Published May 10, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Juli Vol

Free access to Reykjavík Harbour for tourists may soon become a thing of the past.

About 200,000 tourists go on whale watching tours that begin at Reykjavík Harbour, RÚV reports, but harbour authorities themselves see no direct revenue from this traffic. This may soon change, however, and the law already gives harbour authorities the power to start levying charges.

One in four tourists to Iceland will go on a whale watching trip from Reykjavík Harbour, and that number is only going to increase. Harbour Master Gísli Gíslason told reporters that proposed changes are not expected to go into effect overnight, but they will happen soon.

“We’ve taken the decision to start issuing passenger fees from January 1, 2018,” he told reporters. “At the same time, we intend to develop a plan for how we can best implement them.”

While an exact number has not been decided on for how much the fee will be, Gísli said it will take into account the costs of care and upkeep of the harbour, as well as the costs of working with whale watching boats and cruise ships.

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