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Iceland To Uphold New Tourist Tax

Travelers Today       By    Sheobi Anne Ramos

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 03:16 AM EDT

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Iceland travel, iceland tourism boom
18 Awe-Inspiring Things To Do in ❄ICELAND❄ | Travel Better in... Iceland!
Iceland is one of the most popular tourist destinations now.
(Photo: Holidays extras Travel Guides/Youtube/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE6B-doCZV4)

Iceland is now experiencing a surge in the country's tourism. Data reports show that only a number of 490,000 visitors in 2010, Iceland will welcome an estimated amount of 2.3 million visitors this year.

The numbers are staggering, considering the Icelandic population only falls less than 340,000. Government officials are worried that the overwhelming amount of visitors Iceland has will contribute to the potential detriment of the country's famous spots and natural resources.

Game of Thrones, a popular television show by HBO, filmed some of their scenes in Iceland. This has greatly contributed to the tourism boom the country is experiencing today. Tourism brings about 45 percent of foreign exchange, about $5.1 billion this 2017.

Because of this, the coalition government is considering some options to slowly stall the negative effects of the highly-increased tourism in the country. An all-new tourist tax hike was proposed, as well as an action that would force tour agencies and bus operators to acquire a special license before going into service.

But the tourism ministry is being careful about these changes they want to propose. Iceland is already one of the most expensive destinations in Europe-a taxi ride from the airport to the city costs around $150. Any additional tax hike would be added to the already considerable bills tourists have to pay for when in the country.

"The sector and all of us have to be careful not to become victims of our own success. Some areas are simply unable to facilitate 1 million visitors every year. If we allow more people into areas like that, we're losing what makes them special -- unique pearls of nature that are a part of our image and of what we're selling," said Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, Iceland's tourism minister.

"When we talk about charging for access, to me that relates more to controlling the number of people entering particular areas - which we need to do. We also need to ensure that tourists that come here get a positive experience during their stay."

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