Iceland takes action on dangerous tourist attractions

Tourists at the Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many tourists view the spectacular Gullfoss falls from behind a safety fence, but others are more foolhardy

Iceland's government has named 24 popular tourist sites that require urgent action to ensure the safety of visitors.

The Ministry of Industry and Innovation's list includes some of the country's best-known attractions such as the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hot spring, where officials say urgent safety work needs to be carried out this year to protect the public, Iceland Monitor reports. The list comes amid numerous reports of incidents involving tourists, including a death at Reynisfjara beach in southern Iceland, and a visitor spotted jumping onto rocks at the edge of the powerful Dettifoss waterfall.

The country's newly formed Tourism Task Force, comprising government ministers and tourist industry representatives, says that surveillance and safety precautions will be increased, as will information for visitors.

But it's not as straightforward as it sounds, as some of the sites are under private ownership, meaning that discussions need to be held before park rangers can patrol the land; and as Reykjavik Grapevine reports, increased signage and local notoriety has done little to stop tourists taking risks on the beach at Reynisfjara.

Earlier this year, Iceland's tourism industry launched a course where tourists could swot up on safety before they arrive in the country. "The majority of tourists want to experience nature, and we know that Icelandic nature must be treated with respect and care," a spokeswoman said at the time.

Image copyright Visir
Image caption Despite safety warnings, tourists still take risks to get the perfect photo at Reynisfjara beach

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