Tourism has increased its share to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 3.6% in 2009 to 4.6% in 2013. In nominal values, the aggregate of Tourism Direct GDP (TDGDP) has posted a growth by 55% in 2013 compared with 2009 (from 56.3 bn. ISK to 87.3 bn. ISK). This is almost three times higher than the nominal increase rate of the Icelandic GDP (by 18.6%) in 2013 compared to 2009.

Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) has also increased from 49.7 bn. ISK in 2009 to 76.4 bn. ISK in 2013 which is a growth by 54% in nominal values for this period. Together with Tourism taxes less subsidies on products TDGVA is part of TDGDP.

Tourism and its direct contribution to GDP in Iceland in 2009-2013, current prices
 Billions ISK 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Tourism Direct Gross Domestic Product 56.3 54.1 61.4 74.8 87.3
   Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (at basic prices) 49.7 47.1 52.8 64.1 76.4
   Tourism taxes less subsidies on products 6.6 7.0 8.6 10.7 10.9
Icelandic GDP 1,585.5 1,621.0 1,703.2 1,780.2 1,880.9
Tourism direct contribution to GDP 3.6% 3.3% 3.6% 4.2% 4.6%

An essential part of Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) refers to the so called “tourism ratios”. Tourism ratios give the proportion of products supplied in the Icelandic economy that is consumed by tourists. They allow the calculation of TDGVA and TDGDP. Overall, it has been calculated that 6% of all goods and services supplied in the Icelandic economy were demanded by tourists in 2013; in 2009 this ratio was 4.6%. This is above the EU average of 3.9% according to the latest Eurostat TSA results published in 2013.

The value of tourism ratios is different from product to product. Travel agencies and Summer houses (imputed rent) both have tourism ratios of 100%, meaning that these products are entirely consumed by tourists. There are high tourism ratios for Accommodation and Transport equipment rental services, while lower values are registered for Cultural services and Goods purchased from trade activities.

One should be aware that these TSA aggregates measure only the direct economic effects of internal tourism consumption on the macroeconomic aggregates such us GDP. So, it leaves aside other secondary effects (indirect and induced) generated by internal tourism consumption, as well as the effects of other components of the total tourism internal demand (i.e. investments and governmental collective consumption in tourism).

This compilation of TSA has been produced by Statistics Iceland in order to rigorously calculate the contribution of tourism to the Icelandic economy, based on international standards in tourism statistics and tourism satellite accounts. This was possible through a collaborative project with the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre and funded by the Ministry of Industries and Innovation. This compilation includes the core TSA aggregates of Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) and Tourism Direct Gross Domestic Product (TDGDP).

It is important to mention that due to changes in methodology these data are not comparable with the ones released by Statistics Iceland in 2011 and before.


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