The number of overnight stays in January decreased by 89% compared with the same month last year. There was a 90% decrease in hotels, 88% decrease in guesthouses and 76% decrease in other types of accommodation (youth hostels, cottages etc.).

Overnight stays in all accommodation in January 2021 were 57,000 compared with 495,000 in January 2020. Icelanders accounted for 78% or 44,000 overnight stays whereas foreign visitors accounted for 22% or 13,000 stays. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 36,000, thereof 29,400 in hotels.

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 which in January 2020 were 61,000.

The number of hotel bedrooms decreased by 44% in January 2021 compared with January the year before. Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 9.3% in January 2021 which is a decrease of 39.7 percentage points from January 2020.

Supply and occupancy rates of hotel bedrooms in January
  Number of Hotel bedrooms in January Room occupancy rate in January
2020 2021 % 2020 2021 pp
Total10,7276,048-43.6%49.1%9.3%-39.7
Capital region5,4082,552-52.8%66.5%9.4%-57.1
Southwest956746-22.0%48.0%13.7%-34.3
West and Westfjords812468-42.4%20.7%3.4%-17.3
North994655-34.1%14.4%12.8%-1.5
East268214-20.1%18.3%4.9%-13.4
South2,2891,413-38.3%37.2%8.0%-29.3

There were 29,400 overnight stays in hotels in January, and decreased in all regions from January 2020. The greatest decrease was in the Capital region, from 198,100 to 12,400 between years, or by 94%. At the same time, hotel room supply in the Capital region decreased by 53% and hotel room occupancy fell by 57 percentage points down to 9.4%. The decrease was least pronounced in the North region, where overnight stays decreased by 35%, and hotel room occupancy rate decreased by 1.5 percentage points from January 2020.

Overnight stays in hotels
  January   February-January  
2020 2021 % 2019-2020 2020-2021 %
Total291,12829,420-904,552,1271,226,668-73
Capital region198,10912,431-942,522,335542,239-79
Southwest27,6404,731-83403,60094,090-77
West and Westfjords9,062868-90248,940111,113-55
Northwest and Northeast7,2194,697-35335,358164,894-51
East2,450432-82119,17952,796-56
South46,6486,261-87922,715261,536-72
Citizenship
Icelanders30,38422,991-24445,291529,20119
Foreign visitors260,7446,429-984,106,836697,467-83

Nights spent by foreign tourists in hotels decreased by 98% whereas nights spent by Icelanders decreased by 24%. Overnight stays of Icelanders were 23,000 or 78%, whereas overnight stays of foreign tourists were 6,400 or 22%.

In the 12 month period from February 2020 to January 2021, the number of overnight stays in hotels was 1,227,000, which is a 73% decrease from the prior 12 month period.

Methods
All numbers for 2020 and 2021 are preliminary, except for hotel data which is preliminary for January 2021. 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. 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. The final estimates of overnight stays in 2020 are currently under review.

Statistics