The number of overnight stays in November decreased by 92% compared with the same month last year. There was a 93% decrease in hotels, 85% decrease in guesthouses and 88% decrease in other types of accommodation (youth hostels, cottages etc.). Since the border study managed by Statistics Iceland and the Icelandic Tourist Board has ceased temporarily due to a decrease in departures from Keflavík Airport, it is not possible to estimate the number of foreign overnight stays at private accommodation offered through Airbnb and similar sites, which in November 2019 were 76.000.

Overnight stays in all accommodation in November 2020 were 44,000 compared with 553,000 in November last year. Icelanders accounted for 71% or 31,000 overnight stays whereas foreign visitors accounted for 29% or 13,000 stays. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 33,000, thereof 24,300 in hotels.

The number of hotel bedrooms decreased by 39.5% in November 2020 compared with November the year before. Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 8.3% in November 2020 which is a decrease of 49.6 percentage points from November 2019.

There was a dramatic decrease from November 2019 in the number of overnight stays in hotels in all regions. The greatest decrease was in the Capital region, from 213,600 to 9,900 between years, or by 95%. At the same time, hotel room supply decreased by 50% and hotel room occupancy fell by 67.8 percentage points down to 8.3%.

Supply and occupancy rates of hotel bedrooms in November
  Number of Hotel bedrooms in November Room occupancy rate in November
2019 2020 % 2019 2020 pp
Total10,9486,625-39.5%57.9%8.3%-49.6
Capital region5,3952,685-50.2%76.2%8.3%-67.8
Southwest956784-18.0%47.3%17.6%-29.8
West and Westfjords765739-3.4%32.3%5.8%-26.4
North1,169702-39.9%28.3%5.1%-23.2
East360150-58.3%20.2%9.7%-10.5
South2,3031,565-32.0%48.9%6.0%-42.9

Nights spent by foreign tourists in hotels decreased by 97% whereas nights spent by Icelanders decreased by 63%. Overnight stays of Icelanders were 16,300 or 67% whereas overnight stays of foreign tourists were 8,000 or 33%.

Overnight stays in hotels
  November   December-November  
2019 2020 % 2018-2019 2019-2020 %
Total329,59824,305-934,528,3011,774,817-61
Capital region213,5719,888-952,508,800923,787-63
Southwest24,5575,414-78397,508137,094-66
West and Westfjords12,7562,221-83246,328126,895-48
Northwest and Northeast15,6791,596-90341,364175,354-49
East3,520563-84117,21457,880-51
South59,5154,623-92917,087353,807-61
Citizenship
Icelanders43,92616,304-63436,642551,29326
Foreign visitors285,6728,001-974,091,6591,223,524-70

The total number of overnight stays in hotels for the 12 months between December 2019 and November 2020 was 1,775,000 which is a 61% decrease from the preceding 12-month period.

Methods
All numbers for 2020 are preliminary, except for hotel data which is preliminary for November 2020. Due to a severe decrease in departures from Keflavík Airport, data collection for the border study managed by Statistics Iceland and the Icelandic Tourist Board has been ceased temporarily and will not be continued until the situation improves. Until then, Statistics Iceland will not publish estimates of unpaid overnight stays and overnight stays in home accommodation through peer-to-peer websites. Due to abrupt changes in supply and occupancy rates, estimation for other types of accommodation than hotels 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.

Statistics