Iceland is temporarily shutting down one of its popular tourist destinations, and it’s apparently Justin Bieber’s fault. According to CNN Travel, the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, located about 150 miles east of Reykjavik, will be closing until June, due to damage caused by high amounts of foot traffic.
Daníel Freyr Jónsson, head of the country’s environment agency, told Icelandic outlet RUV that he believes Bieber is at least partly to blame, thanks to his 2015 music video for “I’ll Show You,” which features the canyon (and has racked up over 440 million views on YouTube).
“This canyon was somewhat unknown,” he said, according to Lonely Planet. “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 percent to 80 percent between 2016, 2017 and 2018.”
According to the Telegraph, 150,000 tourists visited the canyon in 2017, and the number increased to 282,000 visitors the following year.
However, Inga Hlin Palsdottir, director of the national tourism agency Visit Iceland, told CNN Travel that she doesn’t think it’s fair to blame the environmental destruction on tourists (or pop singers, for that matter).
“It’s just a natural wonder that wasn’t meant to be that popular,” she told CNN. “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.”
Maybe it’s not too late for Bieber to say sorry.