Park rangers for Vatnajökull have stated that the necessary infrastructure will soon be in place to introduce fees at Jökulsárlón, one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations.
The new fees would be introduced this June, and could potentially generate some ISK 40 million [$285,000; €266,000].
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According to rangers for South Iceland, new cameras will be set up in April of this year and will be tested for two months, before becoming fully operational this June.
Future visitors to Jökulsárlón in private passenger vehicles can expect to pay ISK 1,000 [$7.10; €6,70] for parking, though visitors who also visit Skaftafell will receive a 50% discount. Camping fees will not be included in this amount.
The introduction of a parking fee at Jökulsárlón has been discussed as a possibility for some time. Initial proposals first came in 2017, when the Icelandic state acquired all of the land surrounding the popular glacial lagoon. According to RÚV, nearly 1 million tourists visit the area annually. This volume of visitors means that the area is expensive to maintain.
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Although by Icelandic law, all land is open to the public, increasing numbers of visitors to Iceland have raised concerns in recent years about the sustainability of the tourism industry. Notably, these laws, known traditionally in English as “the right to wander,” do not cover services, such as parking and bathrooms.