Iceland Wants to Limit Airbnb Rentals to Slow the Onslaught of Tourists
Between its otherworldly landscapes and cheap flight access, it's no surprise that Iceland has, over the course of eight years, become an incredibly popular destination for travelers. In fact, the island, which has a population of just 220,000, saw some 1.6 million visitors last year alone. As somebody at Curbed recently put it: Iceland is full.
Now the country is responding to the flood by proposing legislation to limit the number of days people could offer their properties up on Airbnb.
The ruling would limit renters to 90 days a year, and require all Airbnb users pay a business tax. Beyond this legislation, Iceland's supreme court ruled that anyone in an apartment would need permission from other residents before renting their home on Airbnb.
Why target Airbnb? There’s been a 124% increase in one year, causing house prices in central Reykjavík to rise significantly. There have also been reports of locals getting angry because there are so many tourists and not enough facilities for them like public restrooms. “We don’t want downtown Reykjavík to be tourists only, with no locals,” said Áshildur Bragadóttir, the director of Visit Reykjavík.
Legislators are also looking to limit the number of tourists on popular hiking trails and adding direct international flights to areas outside the capital to ease congestion.