Experimental statistics

Overnight stays in hotels


Statistics Iceland publishes statistics on overnight stays in hotels on a monthly basis, approximately 30 days after the end of each month, at which point data has been received from about 90% of hotels. Due to users' interest in getting information in a more timely manner, it was decided to use data from hotels that consistently submit immediately after the end of each month to get an initial assessment of each month's final numbers for bed occupancy rates and overnight stays in hotels.

Recently, the Icelandic tourism industry has gone through major changes in a short time. Such rapid changes underscore the need for timely statistics, but also pose problems for statistical processing. These preliminary estimates need to be interpreted with that in mind.


About 20% of hotels consistently submit data in the first few days after the end of each month. A study was carried out to see whether this data was useful for an initial assessment of bed occupancy rates and the number of overnight stays in hotels. Since these hotels are not randomly selected, the data are broken down by region and weighted to correct for this non-random selection.

For this subset of hotels with consistently early returns, data on bed occupancy rates and the number of overnight stays spanning the last few years were compared to the final results for each month. It turned out that bed occupancy and the number of overnight stays in hotels could be estimated every month with a 95% confidence limit.


This method makes it possible to estimate the bed occupancy and the number of overnight stays in hotels shortly after the end of each month, and the plan is to publish this plan within 10 days from the end of the month. It is our hope that this publication of more timely initial estimates will help indicate the latest developments in accommodation.

58% reduction in overnight stays in hotels in August

Updated: 8 September 2020

Based on first reports on overnight stays in August, the initial estimate of overnight stays in hotels is 221,000 (95% confidence limits 209,000-233,000), thereof 121,000 Icelandic overnight stays (95% CI 111,000-132,000) and 100,000 foreign overnight stays (95% CI 90,000-110,000). Compared with 522,900 overnight stays in August 2019, there was an estimated 58% reduction in overnight stays from August last year. Based on these initial estimates, Icelandic overnight stays increased more than threefold compared with August 2019, whereas foreign overnight stays decreased by approximately 79%.

Based on the same estimates, bed occupancy rates in August 2020 were approximately 43.0% (95% CI 40.8%-45.3%), compared with 71.5% in August 2019.


Temporary estimates of overnight stays in hotels 200908 (xlsx)


Metadata for statistics on overnight stays: Accommodation, guests and overnight stays

Methodological description: Fast estimates of proportions and occupancy number of hotels (pdf)

Use of these experimental statistics is free. Please quote the source.
For further information please contact gistiskyrslur@hagstofa.is, tel. +354 528 1000