The number of overnight stays in March decreased by 55% compared with the same month last year. There was a 54% decrease in hotels, 48% decrease in guesthouses, a 65% decrease in private accommodation through Airbnb etc., and 50% decrease in other types of accommodation (youth hostels, cottages etc.).

Overnight stays in all accommodation in March 2020 were 322,000 compared with 711,000 in March last year. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 214,000, thereof 175,400 in hotels. Overnight stays in youth hostels, cottages etc. were 61,000, and overnight stays at private accommodation through websites such as Airbnb were approximately 47,000.

54% decrease in overnight stays at hotels Overnight stays in hotels in March 2020 were 175,400 which is a 54% decrease from March last year. Proportionately the greatest decrease was in the Southwest (62%). Overnight stays decreased by more than 50% in all regions except in the East, where there was 29% decrease. 62% of overnight stays in hotels were in the Capital area, or 108,000, which was a 52% decrease from March 2019.

Overnight stays in hotels
  March   April-March  
2019 2020 % 2018-2019 2019-2020 %
Total382,357175,411-544,452,2424,331,473-3
Capital region227,128107,989-522,547,0772,406,751-6
Southwest32,27812,351-62326,735380,28116
West and Westfjords17,8608,872-50252,367239,864-5
Northwest and Northeast22,07910,139-54325,203321,250-1
East4,9253,500-29103,748118,01814
South78,08732,560-58897,112865,309-4
Citizenship
Icelanders40,33819,862-51448,710432,514-4
Foreign visitors342,019155,549-554,003,5323,898,959-3

The total number of overnight stays in hotels for the 12 months between April 2019 and March 2020 was 4,331,000 which is a 3% decrease from the preceding 12 month period.

Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 30.1% in March 2020 which is a decrease of 35.8 percentage points from March 2019. Over the same period, the number of hotel bedrooms increased by 3.3%. If hotels were open at the beginning of March, but closed as the month progressed, it is reflected in the numbers for occupancy. If they stay closed, it is only reflected in numbers for monthly supply in the months that follow, whereas their supply is included in March.

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
Total10,38410,7273.3%65.9%30.1%-35.8
Capital region5,1065,2422.7%79.8%38.2%-41.6
Southwest821773-5.8%68.4%28.5%-39.9
West and Westfjords7948456.4%40.1%19.3%-20.8
North1,1271,1280.1%37.8%17.0%-20.8
East34943123.5%26.2%15.3%-10.9
South2,1872,3085.5%62.4%25.2%-37.3

Nights spent by foreign tourists in hotels were 155,500 which accounted for 89% of overnight stays in March. UK residents had the greatest number of overnight stays (42,600), then residents of USA (38,200) and Germany (15,900). Overnight stays of Icelanders in March were 19,800.

Due to an abrupt decrease in the number of departures from Keflavík Airport, it was not possible to collect a full set of data for the Border Study conducted by the Icelandic Tourist Board and Statistics Iceland. This causes an increased uncertainty in estimates of overnight stays based on the Border Study, including the estimate of overnight stays in private accommodation through Airbnb etc. Additionally, there was no record of overnight stays in cars other than at campsites, and overnight stays with friends and relatives, through exchanges or in other places where no payment was made, were 9,000.

Methods
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 2020 are preliminary, except for hotel data, which is preliminary for March 2020.

Statistics