The Tourist Site Protection Fund
Object and purpose
The Tourist Site Protection Fund is being established in order to promote the development, maintenance and protection of tourist attractions anywhere in Iceland which are under public ownership or supervision. Capital from the Fund shall also be aimed at ensuring tourist safety and protecting Icelandic nature. In addition, the Fund is intended to increase the number of sites visited by tourists in order to reduce the pressure on frequently visited tourist destinations.
Capital from the Tourist Site Protection Fund shall be used for:
- Developing, maintaining and protecting nature and man-made structures at tourist attractions which are under public ownership or in protected areas.
- Carrying out construction related to traveller safety and nature conservation at tourist destinations, whether these are owned by public or private entities.
The Tourist Site Protection Fund is authorised to finance the preparatory and design work required for a development pursuant to Paragraph 2; however, the Fund is not authorised to assume the operating costs of man-made structures, nature conservation areas or other tourist destinations. Appropriations to private entities are subject to the condition that the tourist destinations involved are always open to the general public, free of charge.
The Minister of Industry shall appoint four representatives to two-year terms on the Tourist Site Protection Fund board. Two are to be appointed upon nomination by the Icelandic Travel Industry
Association, one upon nomination by the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland, and one without nomination who shall also act as chairperson.
Each year, the board of the Fund shall make proposals to the Minister regarding Fund allocations. The board''s proposals must fit within the Fund''s purpose, as defined in Article 1. When processing its proposals, the board of the Fund shall both advertise for applications for allocations and take initiative in gathering information from environmental authorities and other stakeholders on the need for developments falling under the scope of this Act.
The annual revenues of the Tourist Site Protection Fund shall be:
1. A State Treasury appropriation, to be determined more exactly in the national budget
2. Interest on Fund capital
3. Other income
Based on proposals from the board, the Minister shall decide on individual allocations from the Tourist Site Protection Fund.
Fund allocations shall occur twice yearly, although exceptions may be made in cases of urgent need. Information on allocations from the Fund must be made public.
Stewardship, accounting and auditing
The Tourist Site Protection Fund shall be under the stewardship of the Icelandic Tourist Board, and the Tourist Board shall see to Fund operations
including the distribution of Fund allocations, the settling of accounts, bookkeeping and the preparation of annual financial statements.
Allocations from the Fund shall be paid to projects in relation to their progress.
The Fund''s fiscal year is the calendar year, and the National Audit Office shall be in charge of auditing Fund accounts.
The Minister is empowered to issue regulations with detailed requirements for allocations from the Tourist Site Protection Fund.