Overnight stays in hotels in December 2017 were 299,400, which is a 3% increase from December last year. Around 72% of all overnight stays were in the Capital region, or 214,900, which is similar to last year. The number of overnight stays increased in the Southwest (27%) and North (18%) regions.

Nights spent by foreign tourists accounted for 91% of the total number of overnight stays in December. Overnight stays of foreign tourists increased by 4% from December 2016, while overnight stays of Icelanders decreased by 3%. UK residents had the greatest number of overnight stays (85,800), then the USA (73,500) and China (26.400). Overnight stays of Icelanders in December were 27,800.


58% occupancy rate for bedrooms in December 2017
Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 58.0% in December 2017, which is a decrease of 5.4 percentage points from December 2016, when it was 63.5%. Over the same period, the number of hotel bedrooms has increased by 8.8%. The occupancy rate for bedrooms in December was highest in the Capital area, or 76.1%.

10% increase of overnight stays from 2016 to 2017
The total number of overnight stays in the year 2017 was 4,260,000, which is a 10% increase from 2016. Average occupancy rate of hotels in 2017 was 72.1%, which is an increase of 0.9% from 2016. Average occupancy rate in the Capital area in 2017 was 84.2%.

The total number of overnight stays in the Southwest in 2017 was 301,000, which is an increase of 45% from 2016. Average occupancy rate in the region was 74.5%, which is an increase of 1.8 points from 2016. Between years, the number of bedrooms in the Southwest increased by 29.7%.

Estimated total number of overnight stays in 2017
Statistics Iceland estimates that the total number of overnight stays for all types of accommodation in 2017 was approximately 10,500,000, thereof 1,700,000 through Airbnb. Of the 8,800,000 overnight stays estimated for establishments registered with Statistics Iceland, foreign tourists are estimated to account for 7,700,000, where as 1,100,000 are estimated for resident tourists.

Based on information from enterprises in activities that are subject to VAT, the turnover of parties providing accommodation through Airbnb is estimated to have been 14.7 billion ISK in 2017, compared with 11.8 billion ISK in 2016. For comparison, turnover according to VAT information for accommodation establishments was approximately 95 billion ISK for the 12 month period from November 2016 to October 2017. Turnover of accommodation through Airbnb is in part accounted for in the turnover of accommodation establishments subject to VAT.

Since numbers for other types of accommodation than hotels have yet to be fully reviewed, it should be stressed that this is an initial estimate. A publication of revised numbers is scheduled for March 2018.

Overnight stays in hotels          
  December   January–December  
  2016 2017 % 2016 2017 %
Total 290,365 299,393 3 3,866,813 4,259,599 10
Capital region 214,342 214,858 0 2,447,410 2,598,661 6
Southwest 17,886 22,734 27 207,371 301,010 45
West and Westfjords 5,304 4,978 -6 173,264 190,089 10
Northwest and Northeast 6,873 8,107 18 284,050 297,609 5
East  1,690 1,842 9 108,337 108,337 0
South 44,270 46,874 6 646,381 763,893 18
Icelanders 28,554 27,759 -3 403,360 427,051 6
Foreign visitors 261,811 271,634 4 3,463,453 3,832,548 11

The above data only show overnight stays in hotels that are operating for the whole year. Guesthouses and summer hotels are not included.

Numbers for 2017 are preliminary. Statistics Iceland is currently reviewing methods for evaluating data on overnight stays with respect to nationalities of tourists. This does not affect the number of overnight stays, but might affect the distribution with respect to Icelanders vs. non-residents. The reviewing will be completed before the final publication of overnight stays for all types of accommodation for 2017.