Skift Take

Iceland was already an expensive tourist destination. The tax will make it even more so.

Iceland has reinstated the tax tourists pay for hotel and alternative accommodation rooms this year. In another change, the tax will also apply to cruises.

Iceland had suspended the tax during the pandemic. Starting January 1, tourists have been charged as follows per room, according to the Iceland government:

  • Hotels, guesthouses and other accommodations: ISK 600 ($4.36). 
  • Campsites, mobile homes and caravans: ISK 300 ($2.18).
  • Cruise ships stopping on Iceland’s ports: ISK 1,000 ($7.26).

The tax will make the island, an already expensive destination, pricier, said Yves Marceau, vice president of G Adventures. 

Iceland is a popular tourist destination for adventure and nature travel. Tourists come for the Blue Lagoon (temporarily closed), Golden Circle, the South Coast, hiking, lava flows and the Northern Lights.

The tax addresses the social and environment impact of Iceland’s tourism success, said Kristijan Svajnzger, general manager of Europe for Intrepid Travel.

Overtourism has put pressure on Iceland’s natural resources, Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir told Bloomberg in September.

2023 was a strong year for tourism in Iceland. Nearly 800,000 international tourists arrived in the country last summer, up around a quarter from the same period in 2022, reported Iceland Review.

Iceland has had one of the fastest tourism recoveries in Europe in 2023, with both arrivals and nights ahead of 2019 levels, according to the European Travel Commission.


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Tags: adventure travel, iceland, overtourism, taxes, tourism

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