A report on the status and challenges of protected areas and national parks was presented today, reports RÚV. One of the report’s authors believes that protection in those areas needs to be increased due to the high level of tourism.
“In certain areas, like in the south, there is a very high attendance, a lot of tourists. We need to spread tourism better around the country, and we need to be careful not to damage this capital on which we are based,” says Árni Finnsson, chairman of the working group that wrote the report.
One way to do that is to charge a fee. The report states that a majority of citizens, about 66%, favour charging for services at tourist attractions in protected areas and national parks. About half are in favour of charging an access fee to such places.
“This debate about the parties in the tourism industry or tourists paying for access and services in these protected areas… it has matured a lot,” says Árni.
The report was prepared by a working group appointed by Guðlaug Þór Þórðarson, Minister of the Environment and Climate. He says he is very happy with the report.
“There are seventeen things that are specified there, and we are going to work on all of them,” says Guðlaugur Þór.
The proposals are related, among other things, to charging, infrastructure development and management, revised legislation, public rights and tourist safety.
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