Iceland’s Prime Minister Says The Country Will Introduce A New Visitor Tax

It may cost more to visit Iceland in the coming months, as the Nordic country will soon implement higher taxes for travelers in order to protect its environment, according to Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir.

“Tourism has really grown exponentially in Iceland in the last decade, and that obviously is not just creating effects on the climate,” Jakobsdottir told Bloomberg Television. “It’s also because most of our guests who are coming to us are visiting the unspoiled nature, and obviously it creates a pressure.”

According to a spokesperson from the country’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the tax is set to be a more all-encompassing version of a previous accommodation tax that Iceland did away with during the pandemic.

In an email sent to USA Today, the spokesperson shared, “It is intended to expand taxation to cover passengers on cruise ships alongside hotels, recognizing the impact on our seas as well as land.”

According to the same USA Today report, the policy will take effect in 2024 with additional details and tax amounts to be outlined in the weeks ahead.

The tax increase falls in line with Iceland’s goal to become carbon neutral before 2040. As Jakobsdottir referenced in her interview, the country has become immensely popular with tourists, attracting over 1.7 million overnight visitors from beyond its borders in 2022, according to the Icelandic Tourist Board.

The tax hike will see Iceland join other destinations with plans to implement similar policies, like Venice, Italy, who will charge a fee for daytrippers in order to manage overwhelming visitor numbers. According to the Washington Post, Bali, Indonesia will also introduce a tourist tax for foreigners next year.

Featured image from Credit: Rudolf Kirchner.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University who loves beeps and boops!

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