Preliminary results of the Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSAs) indicate that tourism as a proportion of GDP amounted to 7.8% in 2022 compared with 4.8% in 2021. For comparison, these estimates were, on average, around 8.2% in the period from 2016 to 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The share of tourism in total employment
In 2022, 8.3% of total working hours are estimated to have been directly related to the production of goods and services for tourism final consumption compared with 6.3% in 2021. For comparison, these estimates were, on average, roughly 9.6% for the period 2016-2019. Over 18 thousand persons were employed in tourism in Iceland in 2022 according to preliminary figures, an increase of 37.5% from the previous year, and 25.4 million working hours are estimated to have been directly related to tourism in 2022, an increase of 42% from 2021.
Internal tourism consumption increased by 80%
Total internal tourism consumption, inbound and domestic, amounted to 647 billion ISK in 2022, an increase of 80% compared with 2021. Total internal tourism consumption has thus hit a record high, with the previous record being set in 2018 when total internal tourism consumption was estimated at 572 billion ISK. It should however be noted that these figures are quoted at current prices and are thus influenced by inflation, which was, on average, 8.3% in 2022.
The share of domestic tourism expenditure in total tourism expenditure 38%
Domestic tourism expenditure amounted to 245 billion ISK according to preliminary figures, an increase of over 59% from the year 2021. The largest share of domestic tourism expenditure in 2022 was towards travel agencies, a deviation from the estimated expenditure shares of the Covid era from 2020 to 2021, and yet in line with the estimated expenditure shares in the period from 2016 to 2019. The share of domestic tourism expenditure of total internal tourism expenditure in 2022 was 38%, compared with 43% in 2021, 48% in 2020, and 27% in 2019.
Inbound tourism expenditure amounted to over 390 billion ISK in 2022, an increase of 107% compared to the previous year. Inbound tourism expenditure is thus at a similar level as in 2018 and 2019. The share of inbound tourism expenditure of total internal tourism expenditure in 2022 was over 60%. The largest share of inbound tourism expenditure was towards accommodation, with inbound overnight stays increasing by 96% in 2022 compared to 2021.
About the data
The Tourism Satellite Accounts are used as a measurement of tourism within the national accounting framework and cover both inbound tourism and domestic tourism in Iceland. In parallel to the publication of the results of the Tourism Satellite Accounts for 2022, the results of previous years have been revised. As Tourism Satellite Accounts are based on the results of the national accounts’ expenditure approach as well as the production approach, it should be emphasised that revisions made to those results also affect the Tourism Satellite Accounts.