Why Justin Bieber’s Being Blamed For an Influx of Tourists To Iceland Canyon
Justin Bieber is being blamed for the closure of a popular canyon in Iceland, after the singer featured it in a music video in 2015.
The Environmental Agency of Iceland told CNN Travel Fjaorargljufur, featured in Bieber's "I'll Show You" music video, will be closed to the public until June. Evidently, after the singer showcased the location in his video, there was an increase in tourism. Daniel Freyr Jonsson, an official at the Environmental Agency of Iceland, told RUV (via Lonely Planet) that prior to the video, not many people outside of Iceland knew the location existed.
"This canyon was somewhat unknown," he said. "But I think Icelanders have known about it a lot longer. The great increase in foot traffic began after Bieber came. There has been an increase of 50 percent to 80 percent between 2016, 2017 and 2018."
The Environmental Agency of Iceland initially planned to keep Fjaorargljufur closed for two weeks only, in the hopes that paths and vegetation around the canyon could improve, according to Lonely Planet. It quickly became clear to the agency that a two week closure wouldn't produce the results they wanted to see, so they decided it was best to close it until June 1.
The Telegraph reported that 150,000 tourists visited the canyon in 2017. That number increased to 282,000 the following year. Bieber's music video has been viewed more than 440 million times.
Not everyone blames Bieber for the spike in tourism, however. Inga Hlin Palsdottir, director of tourism agency Visit Iceland, told CNN Travel it's not necessarily the musician's fault. She noted that Iceland is notorious for "extreme weather conditions," which surely haven't helped.
"In Iceland you have extreme weather conditions — for example, springtime can be very difficult for the nature when the snow is melting and everything gets more wet and muddy," she explained. "We need to build a better infrastructure there so we can invite people all year round. It's just a natural wonder that wasn't meant to be that popular."
Per Fox News, the canyon is believed to have been formed at the end of the last Ice Age about 9,000 years ago. Bieber hasn't commented on the closure of the canyon.