The number of overnight stays in May decreased by 89% compared with the same month last year. There was an 88% decrease in hotels, 86% decrease in guesthouses, and 84% decrease in other types of accommodation (youth hostels, cottages etc.). Overnight stays of foreign tourists at home accommodation through peer-to-peer websites were not estimated for May 2020.

Overnight stays in all accommodation in May 2020 were 76,000 compared with 660,000 in May last year. Icelanders accounted for 87% or 66,000 overnight stays, whereas foreign visitors accounted for 13% or 10,000. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 51,300, thereof 37,100 in hotels. Overnight stays in other types of accommodation were 24,000.

Due to an abrupt decrease in the number of departures from Keflavík Airport, it was not possible to collect data during May for the Border Study conducted by the Icelandic Tourist Board and Statistics Iceland. Therefore, it was not possible to estimate the number of unregistered overnight stays of foreign tourists, i.e. accommodation brokered through peer-to-peer websites (such as Airbnb), in cars outside of campsites, and unpaid indoor accommodation (friends/relatives, couchsurfing, etc.). Estimation of unregistered overnight stays of foreign tourists will recommence once the conditions for the Border Study will improve.

In late March, many hotels were closed temporarily and 47 hotels remained closed during May while 75 hotels were closed in April. Hence, the number of hotel bedrooms decreased by 26.5% in May 2020 compared with May 2019.

Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 8.9% in May 2020 which is a decrease of 46.8 percentage points from May 2019.

Supply and occupancy rates of hotel bedrooms in May
  Number of Hotel bedrooms in May Room occupancy rate in May
2019 2020 % 2019 2020 pp
Capital region5,1293,269-36.3%66.6%5.3%-61.3
West and Westfjords855833-2.6%39.7%15.6%-24.1

Overnight stays in hotels in May 2020 were 37,100, which is an 88% decrease from May last year. Nights spent by foreign tourists in hotels were 3,000 which accounted for 8% of overnight stays in May. Overnight stays of Icelanders in May were 34,100 or 92%.

Overnight stays in hotels
  May   June-May  
2019 2020 % 2018-2019 2019-2020 %
Capital region174,7508,780-952,525,2822,094,254-17
West and Westfjords18,5357,236-61251,096215,869-14
Northwest and Northeast26,9247,651-72329,305281,888-14
Foreign visitors276,7492,956-994,006,6923,390,038-15

The total number of overnight stays in hotels for the 12 months between June 2019 and May 2020 was 3,788,000 which is a 15% decrease from the preceding 12 month period.

All numbers for 2020 are preliminary, except for hotel data which is preliminary for May 2020. Due to abrupt changes in supply and occupancy rates, estimation for other types of accommodation is currently subject to a higher degree of uncertainty than usual and should therefore be taken with a special precaution until final numbers are available at the end of the year.