Let’s get to the good part: Iceland’s Fjadrargljufur canyon is beautiful.
Now, the not-so-good part: The fragile canyon, featured in Justin Bieber’s 2015 “I’ll Show You” video, is being loved to death. So the country is closing it, at least until June.
The music video, which has more than 440 million views on YouTube, was filmed in several locations around Iceland. But Fjadrargljufur, with its sheer, 328-foot-tall walls, makes for great photo ops. And it’s getting the bulk of the attention from Beliebers flocking to the spot, hoping to commune with their idol and maybe, what, see him float past in his undies?
Poor Biebs. He’s been struggling lately, saying he’s in midst of the “most human season I’ve ever been in.” He really doesn’t need a whole country mad at him.
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Daníel Freyr Jonsson, head of the Environmental Agency of Iceland, told Icelandic news outlet RUV that before the video, the canyon was little known outside Iceland, according to Lonely Planet.
“The great increase in foot traffic began after Bieber came,” he said. “There has been an increase of 50 percent to 80 percent between 2016, 2017 and 2018.”
The number of visitors to the canyon increased from 150,000 to 282,000 between 2017 and 2018, according to The Telegraph.
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But the director of national tourism agency Visit Iceland tells CNN Travel that it’s not fair to blame a pop star for Fjadrargljufur’s closure.
“It’s just a natural wonder that wasn’t meant to be that popular,” says Inga Hlin Palsdottir. “We need to build a better infrastructure there so we can invite people all year-round. We need paths that can be discovered all year-round. It’s not only because of nature, it’s a safety issue.”
So maybe it’s not too late now to say sorry?