Please note that this press release was corrected 31 May 2021 at 12:00. The total supply of hotel rooms was corrected from 7,063 rooms to 6,978.

The number of overnight stays in Iceland in April increased more than fourfold compared with the same month last year.

Overnight stays in all accommodation in April 2021 were 92,500 compared with 20,800 in April 2020. Icelanders accounted for 66% of all overnight stays, or 61,200, whereas foreign visitors accounted for 34%, or 31,300 stays. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 66,800, thereof 48,900 in hotels, and 25.700 overnight stays were in other types of accommodation (youth hostels, cottages, etc.).

The number of hotel bedrooms increased by 22.2% in April 2021 compared with April the year before. Availability increased in all regions except for the Capital region, where there was a 3% decrease. Occupancy rate for hotel rooms was 13.9% in April 2021, which is an increase of 10.3 percentage points from April 2020.

There were 48,900 overnight stays in hotels in April, and their number increased in all regions from April 2020. The greatest increase was in the North region, from 800 to 7,800 between years.

Overnight stays, supply and occupancy in hotels
  April May-April
Overnight stays in hotels20202021%2019-20202020-2021%
Capital region3,36717,218411%2,260,224256,940-89%
West and Westfjords9544,142334%227,168100,321-56%
Northwest and Northeast8277,845849%301,161171,279-43%
Foreign visitors3,00514,043367%3,663,831270,324-93%
  Number of hotel rooms in April Room occupancy rate in April
Supply and occupancy rates of hotel rooms20202021%20202021 pp
Capital region2,4352,370-3%3.0%15.2%12.2
West and Westfjords55268123%3.4%11.1%7.7
Northwest and Northeast68989530%2.5%16.1%13.6

Overnight stays of Icelanders in hotels were 34,800 or 71% of overnight stays in hotels, whereas overnight stays of foreign tourists were 14,000 or 29%. In the 12-month period from May 2020 to April 2021, the number of overnight stays in hotels was 848,700, which is a 79% decrease from the prior 12-month period.

In mid-March last year, the first assembly ban was imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the flow of tourists to the country decreased significantly. This had a particularly strong impact on overnight stays in April 2020.

Since the border study managed by Statistics Iceland and the Icelandic Tourist Board has ceased temporarily due to a decrease in departures from Keflavík Airport, it is not possible to estimate the number of foreign overnight stays at private accommodation offered through Airbnb and similar sites.

Due to a severe decrease in departures from Keflavík Airport, data collection for the border study managed by Statistics Iceland and the Icelandic Tourist Board has been ceased temporarily and will not be continued until the situation improves. Until then, Statistics Iceland will not publish estimates of unpaid overnight stays and overnight stays in home accommodation through peer-to-peer websites.

All numbers for 2021 are preliminary, except for hotel data which is preliminary for April 2021. Due to abrupt changes in supply and occupancy rates, estimation for other types of accommodation than hotels is currently subject to a higher degree of uncertainty than usual and should therefore be taken with a special precaution until final numbers are available.