In a report by Statistics Iceland, overnight stays in hotel accommodations in Iceland are shown to be 7,144,400 for the year so far. This represents a 2% increase from 2018, the previous record-breaking year before the global pandemic.
Should the trend hold, 2022 could be the busiest year ever in the Icelandic tourism industry.
In September of this year, some 853,500 overnight stays in hotel accommodations were recorded, representing a 27% increase from September 2021. Approximately 81% of these overnight stays can be accounted for by foreign tourists, or around 691,000 stays. Icelanders and residents of Iceland accounted for the remaining 19%, at around 161,000 overnight stays. Compared with September 2021, this represents a slight decrease in the amount of domestic tourism, when Icelanders were generally more represented during the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
Not surprisingly, the region of Iceland with the largest yearly increase was the capital region, with an 11.8% increase in overnight stays from September 2021 to September 2022. Following the capital region were West Iceland and the West Fjords, with an 8.3% increase in the same period.
The region least affected by the recent upswing was East Iceland, with a negligible 0.5% increase in overnight stays year-on-year.
The total supply of hotel rooms has also risen since last year. This summer saw an acute shortage of accommodations in Iceland, driving many prices up. Statistics Iceland reports now an 8% increase in hotel capacity, with an average occupancy over the year of around 79%.