Information for applicants

The Tourist Site Protection Fund is governed by the Act on The Tourist Site Protection Fund no. 75/2011 (available in Icelandic) and by the Regulation no. 782/2017 (available in Icelandic). Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these acts and regulations. 

What is eligible for a grant?

The Tourist Site Protection Fund supports the development and protection of tourist destinations and tourist routes owned both by private entities and municipalities. The fund may finance projects relating to:

  • Tourist safety.
  • Nature conservation and development.
  • Maintenance and protection of structures and nature.
  • Financing of preparatory and design work necessary for the aforementioned projects.

Grants are paid out in accordance with the fund's regulations and applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the regulations (available in Icelandic). Grants are only awarded for projects and not for places or individuals.

Projects that are on the national plan for development of infrastructure for the protection of nature and cultural heritage are not considered for grants from the Tourist Site Protection Fund.

Matching funds

Generally the beneficiary of a grant, will provide 20% of the total grant as matching funds. These funds can be in the form of purchased services, design work, materials or other work contributions.

Permanent results

The Tourist Site Protection Fund focuses on providing grants for permanent projects (long-term solutions) based on high-quality design. In general, the fund is not expected to provide funding for the development of quick fixes, except in exceptional cases where there is a very urgent need due to natural disasters or that the project precedes permanent construction and development.

Restrictions on grants

The Tourist Site Protection Fund may not:

  1. Provide grants to cover the operating costs of structures, nature reserves or other tourist attractions.
  2. Provide funding for projects that have already been completed.
  3. Support companies engaged in the operation of tourist attractions in excess of the maximum amount allowed according to Commission Regulation (EU) no. 1407/2013 (de minimis rule) now a maximum of EUR 200,000 for each 36-month period, less other grants from public funds which the person in question has received for the same projects during the same period.
  4. Pay the applicants' fixed salary costs
  5. Provide grants for development of tourist attractions that are not open for free to the general public. However, a fee may be charged for any services provided.
  6. Projects that are on the national plan for development of infrastructure for the protection of nature and cultural heritage are not considered for grants from the Tourist Site Protection Fund.

Grants for 2021

On the application form, the applicant is asked to classify the application according to the nature of the project into either category 1 or 2, as seen below:

1. (New) services / facilities on a tourist site / route:

These are:

 - A project in a place that is not already defined as a tourist destination but the person in question is interested in making it one.

- New services or facilities at an already defined tourist destination. The project will increase the capacity of the site or area.

2. Improvements for nature conservation and / or safety at a tourist site or tourist route:

These are:

- Projects where the existing facilities at a tourist destination related to safety or nature conservation are being improved or repaired.

- Increased capacity for receiving tourists, but the level of service is not increased.

In the case of a project subject to planning and/or a building permit then it falls under 1. Tourist destination - (new) services / facilities:

When assessing applications, the criteria and nature of projects are taken into account. Applications are evaluated and graded on the basis of quality criteria set by the fund's board. If the application does not meet the statutory conditions, it is not considered eligible and it is not assessed by the board. Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the fund's quality assessment form.

Suggestions and emphases to applicants 

  • Applicants are encouraged to fill in their application with detail and precision. 

  • Emphasis is placed on projects that look at the overall picture in the regards to planning and how they fall into zoning plans made by the government. 

  • Funding is provided for projects that are planned at tourist destinations or will lead to the sites becoming tourist destinations.

Application process

When applying, a applicant must elucidate:

  • Who applies for a grant and previous experiences of projects related to the fund's objectives.
  • What the project is with a concise description.
  • The cost of the project, how it is divided between the parties involved and the time schedule of the project.

  • The application must then be classified into either:
  1. Tourist resort - new services / facilities
  2. Nature conservation and safety at tourist sites

Necessary attachments with application form

  • Photos and/or maps of the tourist site of the area in question.
  • If an application is made for a grant for the construction of structures or for other projects that need a permit or an approved zoning plan the design and construction permit must be available, when applying for a grant.
  • If an application is made for a grant for planning and design work or preparatory research, a written statement from the municipal council and/or the planning representative of the municipality in question about the project must accompany the application. 
         - See fillable PDF form
  • Written consent of all landowners or representatives of landowners and/or place and/or area supervisors.
         - See fillable PDF form

Where to apply

Applications shall be sent in via the electronic portal of the Icelandic Tourist Board. An applicant must first log in with an "icekey" (I. íslykill) or electronic ID (I. rafræn skilríki) on your mobile phone. When the registration is complete, select the tab "Umsóknir og eyðublöð" (E. applications and forms) in the top right corner. and then the "Umsókn um styrki frá Framkvæmdasjóði ferðamannastaða" tab under "Framkvæmdasjóður ferðamannastaða." 

Open the Icelandic Tourist Board's Service Portal

Application deadline:

Applications are open from September 8th 2020 to October 6th 2020, at 12 noon.

For further help and information contact us though the e-mail: