Overnight stays in 2016 were just over 8.8 million, including estimated unregistered overnight stays sold through Airbnb and similar websites. Overnight stays of foreign tourists accounted for 89% of the total number of overnight stays in 2016. By types of accommodation, most overnight stays were at hotels and guest houses, or 59% of all overnight stays, camping sites accounted for 11%, and other types of accommodation accounted for 30%. Overnight stays sold through Airbnb and similar establishments are here included in other types of accommodation, along with registered private-home accommodation, apartments, youth hostels and privately owned holiday centres.

Overnight stays in hotels and guest houses were just under 5.2 million in 2016, which is a 26% increase from 2015. Thereof, overnight stays in hotels were 3.9 million, which is a 35% increase from 2015 and have increased by almost twofold since 2013. Supply of hotel accommodation has also increased during the last years, as well as occupancy rates, particularly during winter months.

Table 1. Supply and occupancy rates of hotel rooms 2015 and 2016
  Number of rooms   Occupancy rates %
  2015 2016 % 2015 2016
January 6,031 7,478 24 50 50
February 6,357 7,688 21 63 68
March 6,497 7,750 19 62 69
April 6,484 7,730 19 52 59
May 6,772 8,072 19 61 65
June 7,262 8,364 15 77 81
July 7,372 8,637 17 89 91
August 7,577 8,668 14 84 91
September 7,579 8,791 16 67 78
October 7,586 8,706 15 61 71
November 7,233 8,601 19 56 68
December 7,364 8,274 12 47 64

Number of unregistered overnight stays estimated at just over one million in 2016
In the last years, the increase in number of tourists has exceeded the increase in the amount of available accommodation. Following an increase in demand for accommodation, there has been an increase in supply of accommodation through booking websites similar to Airbnb. Estimating the amount of supply and occupancy involved comes with its set of challenges, since information on the providers is incomplete. Still, some of the larger providers are registered and included in the number of overnight stays. The number of rooms/apartments regularly available through Airbnb in 2016 is estimated to be 3600, thereof 2000 in the Capital region. Since the supply of accommodation varies over the year, the supply and occupancy rates are difficult to estimate exactly. Judging from available data through Airdna.co, accommodation is most typically available for 1-3 months of the year (38%), whereas only 15% of the accommodation is available for 10-12 months of the year. The total number of overnight stays sold through Airbnb and similar websites that is missing from the registered overnight stays available to Statistics Iceland is estimated to be just over 1 million in 2016.

Table 2. Total number of overnight stays by regions 2016
  Registered overnight stays Airbnb* Total
  Icelanders Foreign citizens    
Capital region 248,990 3,230,399 669,164 4,148,553
Southwest 68,124 345,481 25,400 439,005
West 94,935 379,654 41,976 516,565
Westfjords 60,676 177,566 14,454 252,696
Northwest 50,925 166,918 15,377 233,220
Northeast 170,466 651,474 65,032 886,972
East** 64,585 309,694 30,577 404,856
South** 285,715 1,503,132 174,895 1,963,742
  1,044,416 6,764,318 1,036,875 8,845,609
* Estimated unregistered overnight stays through Airbnb or similar booking sites    
**Community Hornafjörður now grouped with South region        

More detailed information on overnight stays by regions and types of accommodation is available through the website of Statistics Iceland. However, the estimated numbers for Airbnb and similar providers is not available in a web table format.

A change has been made regarding the community of Höfn, in South-East Iceland. It has up until now been included in data for the East region, but starting with this publication, it will be included in the South region. Most web tables have been adjusted accordingly, and the change is estimated to be completed by the end of April.

To answer demand for more local statistics, a new web table has been prepared with the number of overnight stays by community, where appropriate. A further increase in publication of overnight is under way.

Statistics