Blame it on the Biebs? People are pointing fingers at Justin Bieber after Iceland’s Fjadrárgljúfur canyon closed due to an influx of tourists. The 25-year-old shot his music video for “I’ll Show You” at the stunning location, which made it a prime spot to snap a pic for the ‘Gram.
In fact, tourists are so set on standing where the pop star once stood that they’re bribing park rangers to let them in. Hanna Jóhannsdóttir, who recently turned down a free trip to Dubai in exchange for looking the other way, told NBC News, “Food from people’s home country is the most common bribery.”
That said, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson admitted it’s “a bit too simplistic to blame the entire situation on Justin Bieber” but urged influencers to consider the consequences of their actions. “Rash behavior by one famous person can dramatically impact an entire area if the mass follows,” he told The Associated Press.
Since the viral video was released in 2015, more than 444 million people have watched the “Sorry” singer stomp on moss, take a dip in the arctic waters and run through lush fields. “In Justin Bieber’s defense, the canyon did not, at the time he visited, have rope fences and designated paths to show what was allowed and what not,” Gudbrandsson said.
The Environment Agency of Iceland estimates approximately one million people have visited the area since the release of the video, causing damage to the landscape. Lucky for fans, it is expected to reopen again this summer but only if weather conditions are dry.
Approximately 2.3 million tourists visited Iceland last year, compared with just 600,000 eight years ago. The 20 percent rise in visitors has been out of proportion with infrastructure that is needed to protect Iceland’s volcanic landscape, where soil forms slowly and erodes quickly.
Still, Icelanders are reluctant to fault Hailey Baldwin‘s hubby completely. About 12 percent of Iceland’s entire population — 38,000 people — attended his two concerts in Reykjavík in 2016. Not to mention, the latest season of the popular HBO drama “Game of Thrones” filmed several scenes at the canyon as well.
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