In May 2023, there were 684,600 overnight stays in Iceland, which exceeded May for all previous years. This is a 23% increase from May 2022 (557,700) and a 13% increase from previous record year 2018 (605,800).
Foreign overnight stays were 81% of overnight stays, or 551,500, which is a 26% increase from the previous year (438,300). Domestic overnight stays were 133,100, which is an 11% increase from the previous year (119,600). Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 530,000 while 155,000 were in other types of accommodation (apartments, cottages, campsites etc.). It is estimated that foreign overnight stays in unregistered home accommodation in May were around 110,000.
There were 410,500 overnight stays in hotels in May which is a 25% increase from the previous year (328,900). There was an increase in overnight stays in hotels in all regions. Foreign overnight stays at hotels were 333,200, or 81% of overnight stays at hotels, while domestic overnight stays were 77,300 (19%). Foreign overnight stays increased by 29% whereas there was a 11% increase in domestic overnight stays.
Compared with May of the previous year, the supply of hotel bedrooms was relatively unchanged. However, occupancy rate for hotel rooms was 66.0%, and increased by 12.3 percentage points from May 2022.
Foreign overnight stays in home accommodation through Airbnb in May are estimated to have been around 110,000. Overnight stays in camper vans other than in camping areas were around 1,000, while there were 35,000 staying with friends and relatives.
Final figures for overnight stays in all accommodation for 2022 are now close to completion, and are planned for publication on July 12th.
A border study has been carried out at Keflavík Airport by the Icelandic Tourist Board and Statistics Iceland since June 2017 and Statistics Iceland publishes 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 June 2020 to June 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 May 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.