Iceland, renowned as the Land of Fire and Ice and a burgeoning global tourist hotspot, has reintroduced its tourist tax for the year 2024. The tax, which was temporarily suspended during the pandemic, came back into effect on January 1, 2024, aiming to regulate the environmental impact of tourism in the country.
Every tourist visiting Iceland will be subject to this tax, and the amount varies based on the type of accommodation or holiday style chosen. For hotels and guesthouses, the tax stands at ISK 600 (£3.46), campsites and mobile homes incur a charge of ISK 300 (£1.73), and cruise tourists will contribute ISK 1,000 (£5.77). The revenue generated from this tax will be allocated to sustainability initiatives, focusing on reducing the ecological footprint of tourism.
Iceland’s popularity as a tourist destination has soared, with over two million tourists recorded in 2023, marking a significant increase from the previous year. Recognized for its natural beauty, Iceland has consistently secured the title of the world’s safest country in the Global Peace Index since 2008. Despite its allure, concerns about overtourism and its potential impact on the country’s delicate ecosystem persist.
While the reinstated tax is positioned as a step toward sustainable tourism, there are apprehensions within the travel industry that it might deter visitors from a destination already known for its relatively high costs. Nevertheless, when compared to other prominent European destinations, Iceland’s tourist tax remains relatively economical.
In contrast, Amsterdam boasts one of the world’s highest tourist taxes, amounting to 12.5 percent of the accommodation cost. Greece has recently introduced a climate sustainability tax that fluctuates based on the time of year. On a global scale, the small Asian nation of Bhutan continues to uphold the title of the world’s most expensive tourist tax, with travelers obliged to pay $100 (£78) per day.