|July 24, 2017
Seljalandsfoss One of the most popular tourist destinations in the South is now charging for parking. Photo / Jóhannes K Kristinsson
Visitors to Seljalandsfoss in the South are now required to pay to park their cars. The new parking fees will be used to finance the maintenance of the car park and other on-site facilities. The mayor of the local government says that the area is threatened by growing tourism that has long exceeded the capacity of the place.
2 year process
Passenger cars are expected to pay 700 ISK (6.7 USD / 5.7 EUR) and a shuttle bus 3000 ISK (29 USD / 25 EUR) per day for parking by the waterfall. It was first proposed that some kind of entrance fee be introduced at Seljalandsfoss more than two years ago, but the introduction of fees has taken time due to legal obstacles and questions and practical problems.
Local authorities estimate that 500,000 people visited the waterfall last year. A large number of visitors have long since come across the car park’s capacity, toilet facilities and footpaths.
Tourism should not be a burden on the local community
The municipality and landowners intend to use the income from the parking fees to finance the maintenance of the various infrastructure on site. The municipality has spent more than ISK 30 million (285,000 USD / 245,000 EUR) on the maintenance of Seljalandsfoss over the past 15 years. The waterfall returns no income for the municipality, which has only 1,749 inhabitants.
“We are going to use the money to improve the site at Seljalandsfoss and ensure that the facilities there serve visitors better, so that the municipality does not have to divert funds from the public purse.”
The mayor told Vísir that while parking and footpaths were in great need of maintenance, it was a priority to improve toilet facilities on site. “We are getting a lot of tourists, but the public toilet facilities on site are very inadequate, so we will focus on addressing this problem this year.”