One of the Iceland’s increasingly popular natural attractions is being closed until June and it’s all Justin Bieber’s fault. Some in the travel industry are blaming Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon’s closure on a music video Bieber filmed there five years ago. The visuals have racked up over 400 million views on YouTube and put the breathtaking location on the international map. The number of visitors from 2017 to 2018 nearly doubled from 150,000 to 282,000.
The heavy foot traffic forced the government to close down the canyon until damaged vegetation grows back, and more trails and visitor infrastructure are installed. Daníel Freyr Jónsson tells Icelandic news outlet RUV that he believes the unprecedented growth is directly related to Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” music video.
“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% to 80% between 2016, 2017 and 2018.”
This is not the first time the canyon has been closed, and likely not the last. Fortunately, here are five other TC approved things you can do instead.
Eric has revolved in and out of passport controls for over 20 years. From his first archaeological field school in Belize to rural villages in Ethiopia and Buddhist temples in Laos, Eric has come smile to smile with all walks of life. A writer, photographer and entrepreneur, the LA native believes the power of connectivity and community is enriched through travel.