In March 2023, there were 639,100 overnight stays in Iceland which exceeded March in all previous years. This is an 31% increase between years (488,300) and an 8.3% increase from 2018 (590,300).
Foreign overnight stays were 80% of overnight stays, or 508,800, which is an 39% increase from the previous year (367,300). Domestic overnight stays were 130,400 which is an 7% increase from the previous year (121,000). Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 502,300 while 136,800 were in other types of accommodation (apartments, cottages, campsites etc.). It is estimated that foreign overnight stays in unregistered home accommodation in March were around 92,000.
There were 423,400 overnight stays in hotels in March which is an 30% increase from the previous year (326,000). This increase is characterised by an increase in all regions. Foreign overnight stays at hotels were 346,000, or 82% of overnight stays at hotels, while the Icelandic overnights were 77,400 (18%). Foreign overnight stays increased by 35% and the Icelandic by 11%.
The number of hotel bedrooms increased by 5% in March 2023 compared with March the year before. Occupancy rate for hotel rooms was 65.5%, which is an increase of 10.4 percentage points from March 2022.
Statistics Iceland is now publishing the estimated number of unregistered overnight stays for March 2023. It is estimated that foreign overnight stays in home accommodation through Airbnb in March were around 92,000. Overnight stays in camper vans other than in camping areas were around 2,000 in March while there were 16,000 staying with friends and relatives.
A border study has been carried out at Keflavík Airport by the Icelandic Tourist Board and Statistics Iceland since June 2017 and Statistics Iceland published the estimated number of unregistered foreign overnight based on its results. Therein were estimates for overnight stays in homestays brokered through Airbnb, as well as overnight stays in campers and caravans outside paid camping areas and with friends and relatives. Due to the large decrease in the number of departures from Keflavík Airport following the Covid-19 pandemic, the border study was suspended from April 2020 to May 2021, and these estimations were discontinued in the summer of 2020.
All numbers for 2022 and 2023 are preliminary, except for hotel data which is preliminary for March 2023. 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.