Accommodation, guests and overnight stays

0. Registration entry for subjects

0.1 Name

Accommodation, guests and overnight stays

0.2 Subject area

Tourism, transport and IT

0.3 Responsible authority; office, division, person etc.

Hjörvar Pétursson
Buisness Statistics
Statistics Iceland
Tel. +354 528 1263

Svanhvít Eggertsdóttir
Buisness Statistics
Statistics Iceland
Tel. +354 528 1279

0.4 Purpose and history

In June 1984, Statistics Iceland started regular collection of data on the capacity of accommodation establishments in Iceland as well as data on overnight stays. The data collection covers all types of accommodation establishments with the exception of trade-union summer houses. In 1995, the collection of data on arrivals at accommodation establishments started, so from that year, data on average length of stay is available.
The main purpose of the data collection is to gather information on tourism as an industry.

0.5 Users and application

The accommodation statistics is of use for everyone interested in tourism.
The data is used for:
  • organisation of particular tourism areas
  • organisation within municipalities
  • market research
  • calculation of gross income of tourism

0.6 Sources

Information on active establishments is received from the Icelandic Tourist Board, representatives of regional bureaus for the promotion of tourism, The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police as well as from various tourist related brochures. Everyone who sells accommodation is obliged by law to send Statistics Iceland reports monthly, with information on capacity, number of overnight stays and arrivals by citizenship of guests.

0.7 Legal basis for official statistics

Statistics Iceland´s right to demand information from providers of accommodation is based upon the 10th clause in the laws on restaurants and accommodation establishments no. 67/1985: Managers, whom these laws come under, shall give the authorities information according to further instructions from Statistics Iceland. Such information shall only be used for research and organisation of tourism in general and/or the management of restaurants and accommodation establishments in particular as a profession.

0.8 Response burden

Every establishment that sells accommodation shall report monthly. The reports shall have information on:
  • total number of arrivals and overnight stays by citizenship of guests
  • total number of rooms rented
  • total capacity; number of rooms and bed places
  • opening months of the establishment

0.9 EEA and EU obligations

The data collection is carried out in compliance with the Council Directive on Tourism Statistics 95/57/EC.

1. Contents

1.1 Description of content

The accommodation statistics give accurate and particularised information on capacity and occupancy, arrivals and overnight stays in accommodation establishments.
Undermentioned data can be found in the statistics:
  • total number of overnight stays by type of accommodation, region and citizenship of guests
  • total number of arrivals by type of accommodation, region and citizenship of guests
  • room and bed occupancy rates in hotels and guesthouses by region
  • average length of stay by type of accommodation, region and citizenship of guests

1.2 Statistical concepts

Arrivals: An arrival is defined as a person who arrives at an accommodation establishment and checks in. The person is only counted once.
Overnight stays: A night spent is each night that a guest actually spends in an accommodation establishment. Every night the guest spends is counted.
Rented rooms: Total number of rooms rented each month.
Capacity: Total number of rooms and bed-places on offer each month.
Occupancy rates: The use of rooms/bed-places in relation to capacity and number of days each month the establishment is open.

2. Time

2.1 Reference periods

Data is collected every month and the data collection is continuous.

2.2 Process time

The data collection is continuous.

2.3 Punctuality

Preliminary data for hotels are provided in accordance to Statistics Icelands' advance release calendar. Preliminary data is published monthly, 5-6 weeks after the reference period.
Annual data for all types of accommodation establishments is published 4 months after the reference period.

2.4 Frequency of releases

"Tourist Accommodation" in the Statistical Series is published yearly, 4 months after the reference period.
Preliminary data for hotels is published monthly, 5-6 weeks after the reference period.

3. Reliability and security

3.1 Accuracy and reliability

Accuracy and reliability of published statistics is determined by the response rate as well as by the quality of the in-sent data. Estimations are made for all non responding establishments.
Accommodation capacity has been mapped in detail and is known for all hotels and guesthouses, holiday centres, youth hostels and private home accommodation. Response rates for hotels and guesthouses, holiday centres and youth hostels has been high, around 85-90% (based on capacity). Estimations for non-responding hotels and guesthouses are thus based on capacity as well as the development of the number of guests and guestnights within each region. Since the largest camping sites have reported monthly, the response rates for camping sites have been satisfactory, covering around 95% of the total overnight stays.
Response rates from private-home accommodation have been satisfactory. It has proven difficult to collect data from sleeping-bag facilities. Estimations for those who have not reported have been based on interviews with operators of community centres and representatives of regional bureaus as well as local people involved.

3.2 Sources of errors

Potential sources of errors can be from:

  • errors in the reports made by reporters
  • missing information - estimation errors
  • processing errors, ie. filing and classification errors

Errors in the reports. When the reporter is phoned for more information and/or corrected reports.
Missing information. Owners/managers refuse to send in reports. Reminders are sent out regularly by e-mail or by telephone to those who do not send in the reports on time. If that fails, people who may have information on the establishment are contacted, such as operators of community centres and representatives of regional bureaus. Estimations are then made for the non-respondents. As said before they can be based on capacity, development of tourism flows within each region as well as telephone interviews with local people involved.
Processing errors. Filing errors, i.e. figures could be wrongly filed into the database. Such errors are prevented and corrected as much as possible with error checks.

3.3 Measures on confidence limits/accuracy

4. Comparison

4.1 Comparison between periods

Data for hotels and guesthouses are comparable between years from 1984. However, in 1995 farm-holiday establishments were re-classified as either hotels/guesthouses with 8 rooms and/or 16 bed-places, or private-home accommodation.
This change resulted in an increased number of overnight stays in the summer months in 1995 in the above mentioned categories. This had little or no effect on other months that year.
In 1996 a new category "holiday centres" was established. Categorised as holiday centres are establishments where 3 or more summer houses are managed collectively. Those establishments were then moved from the category private-home accommodation to holiday centres.
In 1994, action was taken towards better response rates for private-home accommodation, which shows great increase in the number of overnight stays between 1994 and 1995. Before that estimations had not been made for the non-respondents in that category.

4.2 Comparison with other statistics

The accommodation statistics have been compared to data from the data collection on arrivals at borders.

4.3 Coherence between preliminary and final statistics

Usually the difference between preliminary and final data is minimal. That applies for data for the whole country or the Capital Region. The difference may be slightly more as regards to particular regions. The paucity of accommodation establishments outside the capital region makes every establishment very important in the statistical data collection. As a result, preliminary data can be inaccurate when estimations have to be made for regions with few establishments and large establishments have not reported monthly data.

5. Access to information

5.1 Forms of dissemination

News, released on Statistics Icelands website
Statistics, categorised statistical web tables
Statistical Series, Hagtíðindi
Statistical Yearbook of Iceland, Landshagir

5.2 Basic data; storage and usability

Data is kept in a computer database in Statistics Iceland. Access to confidential data is not obtainable, but it is possible to get specific non-confidential data from the database. It is also possible to obtain information from Eurostat´s database at Statistics Iceland.

5.3 Reports

Statistics Iceland´s Statistical Series, Tourism Accommodation.

5.4 Other information

Further information can be found with the person in charge of tourism statistics.

© Hagstofa �slands, �ann 6-2-2017