Fewer tourists visited Iceland in January 2019 compared to last year, according to a recent survey by the Icelandic Tourist Board and Isavia. The decrease in tourists is estimated to be around 5.8%.
English and American visitors are still the biggest Icelandophiles by far, with about 34.700 Britons leaving Iceland via Keflavík International Airport at the beginning of the year, and about 29.500 Americans. Combined, those two countries made up 46.2% of all departures.
The biggest relative increase came from countries as diverse as India, Italy, Switzerland and China.
Numbers also suggest that tourists in 2018 spent more money on average than their 2017 counterparts, with tourist expenditure increasing by 9.4% between years. For example, tourists in Iceland last December spent about 14 billion ISK during their holiday visit, while the overall increase in Christmas travellers from 2017 was just 1.5%. This means that each tourist spent about 12.9% more last Christmas compared to those who visited the year before that.
This can partly be explained by the weakening of the Iceland króna, whose devaluation made expenditure more easy for visitors. But curiously, tourists also spent more of their own country’s currency.