The number of overnight stays in Iceland in February decreased by 84% compared with the same month last year. There was an 87% decrease in hotels, 74% decrease in guesthouses and 67% decrease in other types of accommodation (youth hostels, cottages etc.).

Overnight stays in all accommodation in February 2021 were 89,000 compared with 555,000 in February 2020. Icelandic overnight stays were 79,000, which is an 48% increase from the year before. Icelanders accounted for 88% whereas foreign visitors accounted for 12% or 10,000 stays. Overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses were 55,000, thereof 41,900 in hotels.

The number of hotel bedrooms decreased by 37% in February 2021 compared with February the year before. Occupancy rate for bedrooms in hotels was 12.7% in February 2021 which is a decrease of 47.8 percentage points from February 2020.

Supply and occupancy rates of hotel bedrooms in February
  Number of Hotel bedrooms in February Room occupancy rate in February
2020 2021 % 2020 2021 pp
Capital region5,4082,550-52.8%79.4%10.9%-68.6
West and Westfjords806623-22.7%34.5%13.9%-20.5

There were 41,900 overnight stays in hotels in February, and their number decreased in all regions from February 2020. The greatest decrease was in the Capital region, from 222,100 to 13,100 between years, or by 94%. At the same time, hotel room supply in the Capital region decreased by 53% and hotel room occupancy fell by 59 percentage points, down to 10.9%. The decrease was least pronounced in the North region, where overnight stays decreased by 17%. While hotel room supply decreased by 28% from February 2020, the occupancy rate in the North increased by 0.8 percentage points, to 27.5%.

Overnight stays in hotels
  February   March-February  
2020 2021 % 2019-2020 2020-2021 %
Capital region222,13913,125-942,525,890333,225-87
West and Westfjords14,1853,830-73248,852101,410-59
Northwest and Northeast14,03011,608-17333,190162,472-51
Foreign visitors297,5394,825-984,084,016404,545-90

Nights spent by foreign tourists in hotels decreased by 98% whereas nights spent by Icelanders decreased by 1%. Overnight stays of Icelanders were 37,000 or 88%, whereas overnight stays of foreign tourists were 4,800 or 12%.

In the 12 month period from March 2020 to February 2021, the number of overnight stays in hotels was 993,900, which is a 79% decrease from the prior 12 month period.

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 February 2020 were 67,000.

All numbers for 2020 and 2021 are preliminary, except for hotel data which is preliminary for February 2021. 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. The final estimates of overnight stays in 2020 are currently under review. Due to unprecedented changes in accommodation in the last year, there is an expected delay in the publication of final numbers for overnight stays in 2020.