The number of overnight stays in Iceland in August 2021 increased by 84% compared with the same month last year. Thereof, overnight stays in hotels increased by 149%, in guesthouses by 78% and in other types of accommodation (campsites, cottages, etc.) by 67%. Compared with August 2019, there has been a 27% decrease in overnight stays. Thereof, there was a 16% decrease in hotels, 7% decrease in guesthouses, and 13% decrease in other types of accommodation.

Overnight stays in all accommodation in August 2021 were 1,089,000 compared with 591,000 in August the previous year. Icelanders accounted for 41% of all overnight stays, or 450,000, whereas foreign visitors accounted for 59%, or 639,000 stays. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 629,000 (thereof 439,000 in hotels), and 461.000 overnight stays were in other types of accommodation.

The number of hotel bedrooms increased by 17% in August 2021 compared with August the year before. Occupancy rate for hotel rooms was 76.3% in August 2021, which is an increase of 40.0 percentage points from August 2020.

There were 439,100 overnight stays in hotels in August and their number increased in all regions from August 2020. The greatest increase was in the Southwest, where overnight stays almost quadrupled, and in the Capital region where they more than tripled.

Overnight stays, supply and occupancy in hotels
  August September - August
Overnight stays in hotels20202021%2019-20202020-2021%
Capital region53,997185,882244%1,532,363565,598-63%
West and Westfjords21,34135,38366%178,820130,977-27%
Northwest and Northeast37,12455,70350%244,161211,842-13%
Foreign visitors84,083318,959279%2,248,654792,411-65%
  Number of hotel rooms in August Room occupancy rate in August
Supply and occupancy rates of hotel rooms20202021%20202021 pp
Capital region3,5544,36323%28.6%78.0%49.3
West and Westfjords8529107%43.5%65.6%22.1
Northwest and Northeast1,1331,2409%58.6%79.4%20.8

Overnight stays of Icelanders in hotels were 120,200, or 27% of overnight stays in hotels, whereas overnight stays of foreign tourists were 319,000, or 73%. Foreign overnight stays almost quadrupled, whereas Icelandic overnight stays increased by 30%.

In the 12-month period from September 2020 to August 2021, the number of overnight stays in hotels was 1,429,000, which is a 50% decrease from the prior 12-month period. The greatest decrease was in the Capital region, or 63%.

Data collection for the border study managed by Statistics Iceland and the Icelandic Tourist Board resumed in June after a break due to Covid-19. Methodology for estimating unpaid overnight stays and overnight stays in home accommodation through peer-to-peer websites is currently under review and is expected to be reintroduced in the coming winter.

All numbers for 2021 are preliminary, except for hotel data which is preliminary for August 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.


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