The Thingvellir committee has decided to take advantage of a legislation which permits it to charge tourists who use the facilities at the national park. There will be no entrance fee as such—the park will remain open to everyone—but rather a service fee.
From Thingvellir in the autumn. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
He iterated that the fee will only be charged at the service center Hakid at the rim of the Almannagjá rift but nowhere else in the national park.
“In the past year there has been significant development at Thingvellir, including the establishment of 18 restrooms in two buildings with modern equipment. It has cost extensive amounts of money,” Haraldsson said.
Sometimes 12-15 tour buses at a time park in the far too small parking lot by Hakid, he said. The tourist industry is calling for better service and he finds it natural that the services provided at Hakid should be charged for, including guides, multimedia information and more, especially when people are traveling with tour operators.
The proposed fee is ISK 200-300 (USD 1.8-2.7, EUR 1.3-1.9) per visitor. Haraldsson said the proposal has been presented to a number of parties of interest; they wouldn’t have gone through with it otherwise.
“It has been well received everywhere. The tourist industry just wants to make sure that this will be a fee everyone has to pay,” he explained.
“Surveys show that people are content with paying a minimal fee as long as it is used for improving the service and protecting the environment. And we would like Thingvellir to give everyone a warm welcome,” Haraldsson concluded.