The number of overnight stays in February decreased by 12.7% compared with the same month last year. There was a 4% decrease in hotels, 24% decrease in guesthouses, a 43% decrease in private accommodation through Airbnb etc., and 1% increase in other types of accommodation (youth hostels, cottages, etc.).

Overnight stays in all accommodation in February 2020 were 555,000, compared with 636,200 in February last year. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 387,000, thereof 336,000 in hotels. Overnight stays in youth hostels, cottages etc. were 102,000, and overnight stays at private accommodation through websites such as Airbnb were approximately 67,000.

4% decrease in overnight stays at hotels
Overnight stays in hotels in February 2020 were 336,000 which is a 4% decrease from February last year. Proportionately the greatest decrease was in the South (18%), Southwest (13%) and North (12%) regions, while there was an 8% increase in the East region. 66% of overnight stays in hotels were in the Capital area, or 222,100, which was a 2% increase from February 2019.

Overnight stays in hotels
  February   March-February  
2019 2020 % 2018-2019 2019-2020 %
Capital region218,584222,13922,560,8002,525,890-1
West and Westfjords14,27314,185-1250,487248,852-1
Northwest and Northeast16,19814,030-13322,207333,1903
Foreign visitors320,359298,364-73,998,0294,085,2532

The total number of overnight stays in hotels for the 12 months between March 2019 and February 2020 was 4,538,000 which is a 2% increase from the preceding 12 month period.

Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 60.1% in February 2020 which is a decrease of 6.9 percentage points from February 2019. Over the same period, the number of hotel bedrooms increased by 6.1%. The bedroom occupancy rate in February was highest in the Capital area (79.4%).

Supply and occupancy rates of hotel bedrooms in February
  Number of Hotel bedrooms in February Room occupancy rate in February
2019 2020 % 2019 2020 pp
Capital region5,0935,4086.2%83.7%79.4%-4.3
West and Westfjords73180610.3%39.5%34.5%-5.1

Nights spent by foreign tourists in hotels were 298,400 which accounted for 89% of overnight stays in February. UK residents had the greatest number of overnight stays (95,600), then residents of USA (66,700) and Germany (23,300). Overnight stays of Icelanders in February were 37,700. Following the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a marked decrease (55%) can be observed in overnight stays of Chinese tourists which were 13.900.

Additionally, overnight stays in cars other than at campsites were 2,000 and the number of overnight stays with friends and relatives, through exchanges or in other places where no payment was made, were 9,000.

Planned publication of overnight stays 2019
According to Statistics Iceland’s release schedule the final number of overnight stays for all types of accommodation in the year 2019 will be published on April 7th, along with a planned experimental publication of the first estimate of the number of overnight stays in hotels in March 2020.

Methods for estimating unregistered overnight stays are under development. All estimates of unregistered overnight stays are temporary and subject to change when further information are available such as on VAT turnover, supply and occupancy rates of establishments offering accommodation through Airbnb.

All numbers for 2019 onwards are preliminary, except for hotel data, which is preliminary for February 2020.