Popular tourist attraction can not handle increase in visitors
The Preacher's Pulpit's Foundation plans to implement measures to help limit the number of tourists who visit the famous tourist attraction. The Preacher's Pulpit (Preikestolen) in Forsand, Ryfylke, consist of a steep cliff that rises 604 metres above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag Plateau, with an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 metres. This top, however, does have a limit to how many tourists that can be at the plateau at the same time.
"It is quite crowded when there are 500 people up there," says Mayor Ole Tom Guse, in Forsand. This year the Preacher's Puplit has set a record in number of visitors. Last year 205.000 people visited the attraction, whereas between 270.000 and 280.000 are expected this year.
"The hike up to Preikestolen has come to stay, and is being marketed more and more in social media. That is why we eventually have to find a way to regulate the stream of tourists," Guse explains.
Chairman of the Preacher's Pulpit Foundation, Audun Rake, says that the increase in visitors has come sooner than expected, and if it continues to grow at this rate there will be a chaos as of next year. However, rather than introducing gates and limiting people's access, Rake wants to give people reasons to visit the attraction outside of the high season and peak periods.
"People are good at hiking early and late in the day, and there is room for more if people's demand can be distributed," Rake says.
The path up to the Preacher's Pulpit is also undergoing construction in order to deal with the heavy traffic. "Today it is the path, and not the plateau, that is the biggest challenge. People walk in queues, and that is where the foundation has a job to do in order to make it more accessible," the chairman explains.