Departures from Keflavik airport decreased by 77% in the year 2020 compared with the year before. Last December there were 12 thousand departure passengers compared with 169 thousand the same month the year before (-93%).

Estimated overnight stays in hotels were 25 thousand in December compared with 307 thousand the year before (-92%). Estimated number of overnight stays in 2020 are 67% fewer than the year before, dropping from 4.5 million in 2019 to 1.5 million in 2020. Overnight stays paid by foreigners decreased by 77% while overnight stays paid by Icelanders increased by 23% during the year.

VAT turnover in key tourism sectors decreased by 72% in September – October compared with the same period the year before. Turnover decreased across all key tourism sectors during this period.

This release includes updated statistics on overnight stays, VAT turnover and number of employees in key tourism sectors. Also updated are statistics on rental cars from the Icelandic Transport Authority, traffic statistics from the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration and passenger count from the Icelandic Tourist Board and ISAVIA through Keflavik Airport along with traffic statistics for Keflavik Airport.

The graph exhibits the number of departure passengers in 2019 and 2020. Departures decreased by 77% in 2020.

Tourism short-term indicators January 2021 November  December - November 
Overnight stays20192020 %2018-20192019-2020%
Total overnight stays147743243752-91%84106523361192-60%
Hotels and guesthouses38931232998-92%57912322268394-61%
Airbnb and similar sites.... .... 
Other types of unpaid accommodation.... .... 
Other types of listed accommodation28812010754-88%26194201092798-58%
  November  December - November 
Occupancy rate of hotel rooms20192020 %2018-20192019-2020 %
Total overnight stays in hotels32959824305-93%45283011774817-61%
Available hotel rooms109486625-39%.... 
Occupancy rate58%8%-5065%29%-36
  December  January - December 
Experimental statistics - Overnight stays in hotels2019 (actual) 2020 (estimated)2019 (actual)2020 (estimated) %
Overnight stays in hotels30718625000-92%45330651492631-67%
– Iceland3220921000-35%43877954008423%
– Foreigners27497724000-91%4094286952547-77%
  Q3  Q4-Q3 
External trade in services (million ISK)20192020 %2018-20192019-2020 %
Revenue from non-Icelandic tourists16893432949-80%485192197140-59%
– Passanger transport by air493854563-91%14785855581-62%
– Travel / Consumption11954928386-76%337335141559-58%
  September - október  Október - september 
VAT turnover3 (million ISK)20192020 %2018-20192019-2020 %
Tourism industries10980031101-72%642978321554-50%
– Passenger flights411439919-76%230684112475-51%
– Flight related services3743817-78%229798013-65%
– Accommodation176963482-80%10100944062-56%
– Catering and services155869534-39%9374871592-24%
– Travel agents and planners (abroad)3304183-95%174555164-70%
– Travel agents and planners (in Iceland)127511041-92%7976326544-67%
– Massage parlours, tanning salons, saunas, etc.3458298-91%199988759-56%
– Rental of leisure and sport goods & motor vehicles77345217-33%4991234336-31%
– Passenger transport on land3425442-87%220438897-60%
– Passenger water transport959169-82%53841715-68%
  October Average employees November - October
Register based employment20192020 %2018-20192019-2020 %
Tourism industries2901415802-46%3027622882-24%
– Air transport44992219-51%47383636-23%
– Accommodation69362854-59%69944928-30%
– Food service activities99677171-28%102808509-17%
– Travel agency, tour operators and other reservation service 28451047-63%29632044-31%
  January  Average February - January 
Rental cars420192020 %20192020 %
Total rental cars2435917794-27%2470220830-16%
Rental cars (active)2253412750-43%2290216674-27%
Rental cars (inactive)18255044176%18004281138%
  December  January - December 
Traffic on ring road520192020 %2018-20192019-2020 %
South Iceland105938278-22%177518137821-22%
West Iceland101918201-20%173319142266-18%
North Iceland43593831-12%10344077189-25%
East Iceland11561000-13%2712319200-29%
  December  January - December 
Passenger count from Iceland620192020 % 2018-20192019-2020 %
Total Passengers16885011646-93%2597536608693-77%
- Foreign nationality1254218135-94%1986153478510-76%
- Icelandic nationality434293511-92%611383130183-79%
  December  January - December 
Traffic statistcs - Keflavik Airport720192020 %2018-20192019-2020 %
Total movements (departures/landings)45542251-51%8592145217-47%
Total passenger movements45393224907-95%72408191373969-81%
– Departures16891411665-93%2612143609337-77%
– Arrivals17761811947-93%2607637597954-77%
– Exchange passengers (counted twice)1074001295-99%2021039166678-92%

Table in a pdf

1 Airbnb and unpaid accommodation not included in 12 month period
2 Other accommodations are camping sites, youth hostels, holiday centres, lodges in wilderness, apartments, sleeping-bag facilities and private-home accommodation. Other unpaid accommodation includes overnight stays in cars, tents or caravans outside campsites and indoor accommodation where no payment was made
3 Travel agencies (abroad): Services in connection with trips abroad, i.e. with zero VAT-rate according to paragraph 12 of the VAT-law (Act 50/1988). Travel agencies (in Iceland): Services in connection with trips in Iceland, i.e. not with zero VAT-rate according to paragraph 12 of the VAT-law (Act 50/1988)
4 Data from the Icelandic transport authority. Numbers from first weekday of each month.
5 According to numbers from 14 counters on the ring road from Icelandic Road Administration. Monthly numbers show the average count each month. 12 month rolling period specifies the total count during the period. Data is used from 14 counters located on the ring road
6 Data from the Icelandic Tourist Board
7 Data from ISAVIA - passenger movements count departures, arrivals and connecting passengers which are counted twice