Overnight stays in hotels in January 2018 were 285,200, which is a 1% decrease from January last year. Around 72% of all overnight stays were in the Capital region, or 204,300, which is similar to last year. The number of overnight stays increased by 60% in the North region.

Nights spent by foreign tourists accounted for 91% of the total number of overnight stays in January. Overnight stays of foreign tourists decreased by 1% from January 2017, while overnight stays of Icelanders decreased by 8%. UK residents had the greatest number of overnight stays (88,400), then the USA (66,800) and China (18.700). Overnight stays of Icelanders in January were 26,300.



57% occupancy rate for bedrooms in January
Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 57.0% in January 2018, which is a decrease of 5.2 percentage points from January 2017, when it was 62.2%. Over the same period, the number of hotel bedrooms has increased by 8.3%. The occupancy rate for bedrooms in January was highest in the Capital area, or 74.8%.

Estimated overnight stays for all types of accommodation in January
Statistics Iceland estimates that the total number of overnight stays for all types of accommodation in January 2018 was 455,200. Thereof, non-resident overnight stays are estimated to have been 406,400, and resident overnight stays 48,800. as Along with hotels and guesthouses, this includes all accommodation registered with Statistics Iceland such as youth hostels, holiday centres, sleeping bag facilities and apartment and private home accommodation, as well as camping sites and lodges. Although a number of larger establishments offering accommodation through AirBnB and similar websites are registered with Statistics Iceland, a large number offering such services is not. A monthly estimate of the number of overnight stays paid for through AirBnB is in preparation to be included in Statistics Iceland’s monthly news release on overnight stays. This should be in effect no later than at the end of April 2018.

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

Overnight stays in hotels          
  January   February–January  
  2017 2018 % 2017 2018 %
Total 288,745 285,249 -1 3,956,988 4,266,289 8
Capital region 211,595 204,265 -3 2,499,510 2,591,331 4
Southwest 19,889 18,423 -7 218,280 299,544 37
West and Westfjords 6,311 6,677 6 175,674 190,455 8
Northwest and Northeast 6,562 10,496 60 284,441 301,543 6
East  1,555 1,541 -1 108,539 108,323 0
South 42,833 43,847 2 670,544 775,093 16
Icelanders 28,469 26,277 -8 406,207 426,033 5
Foreign visitors 260,276 258,972 -1 3,550,781 3,840,256 8

As can be read in the metadata on accommodation, guests and overnight stays , the data collection covers all types of accommodation establishments with the exception of trade-union summer houses. The main purpose of the data collection is to gather information on tourism as an industry. Accommodation that is proffered free of charge, e.g. with friends or relatives, couch surfing, apartment swapping and staying overnight in camper vans outside of camping sites is not included in these numbers.

Numbers for 2017 and 2018 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.