Iceland considering tourist cap, taxes

By Jose Sepulveda, Buzz60

Iceland wants to limit how many people visit the country, which has seen a huge influx of tourism because of its beautiful natural heritage.

The new coalition government is proposing this initiative in efforts to preserve the very sensitive natural landscape, which includes fjords and the Northern Lights. The popular HBO television series "Game of Thrones" also filmed in the country earlier this decade, raising its public interest.

The amount of visitors grew from 490,000 in 2010 to an estimated 2.3 million this year, according to Bloomberg. American tourists alone outnumbered Iceland's local population of just over 300,000 people.

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The country's tourism minister is trying to spin this as a win for visitors, saying "some areas are simply unable to facilitate one million visitors every year ... If we allow more people into areas like that, we're losing what makes them special."

The government's also looking into another option, which would raise taxes to fund conservation efforts. However, in a country that is already so expensive, that option could hurt their numbers.

AOL contributed to this report

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