More Overnight Stays Booked This June Than Pre-Pandemic

Icelandair Marina Hotel

Foreign tourists booked 405,000 overnight stays in Icelandic hotels in June 2022, which is an increase of 6%, or roughly 23,000 more stays than were booked in June 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Túristi reports that there was also a jump in hotel bookings among Icelanders, with just over 91,000 overnight stays booked in June 2022, as compared to 38,000 in June 2019.

These were among the findings in a new report issued by Statistics Iceland on Friday.

Americans have had by far the most overnight bookings in Iceland over the years: 127,163 in 2019 up to 140,651 in 2022, for an increase of 11% between the years. Icelanders had the second most overnight bookings in June 2022, or 91,388 to be exact. Percentage-wise, this is the most significant increase by nationality since the pre-pandemic years. Germans had the third most bookings by total in June 2022: 58,453, or a 27% increase from the 46,170 overnight stays they booked in June 2019. In terms of percentage increases, however, Italians had the next highest increase in overnight June bookings after Icelanders: 11,728 in June 2022, or an increase of 89% from 6,200 in June 2019.

The new figures show that between June of this year and last year, 2021, occupancy rates around Iceland went up from 40% to 78.8%. Regionally, the biggest jump in hotel bookings was, unsurprisingly, in the capital region, with 5,400 hotel rooms booked in 2022 versus 3,277 in 2021. The second largest increase was seen in the Southwest: 1,017 in 2022, up from 880 in 2021. East Iceland has seen the least change in overnight stays in the last year, with only two more overnight stays booked in 2022 (441) than in 2021 (439).

Take a look at a summary of Statistics Iceland’s new overnight stay data on their website, in English, here.

Record-Number of Icelanders Departed from Keflavík Airport in May

According to data from the Icelandic Tourist Board (Ferðamálastofa), 65,000 Icelanders departed from Keflavík Airport in May. The number of departures has not been higher since measurements began.

Previous record broken

As noted in a press release published on the website of the Icelandic Tourist Board this morning, 65,000 Icelanders flew abroad from Keflavík Airport in May. Never before have as many Icelanders departed from the country in May since measurements began. The previous record for departures among Icelanders from Keflavík was in May 2018, or nearly 63,000.

Approximately 450,000 travellers – of which 200,000 Icelanders – have departed from Keflavík Airport since the beginning of the new year. At the same time last year, only 32,000 departing passengers were recorded.

As far as the month of May is concerned, the departures of foreign passengers were also significant, with approximately 112,000 departures. This number has only been exceeded on four other occasions (the most in May of 2018). Nearly a fourth of departing passengers, or 26,000, were American. The second most populous group of travellers were British, or 9,500.

Double the overnight stays compared to last year

As noted by RÚV, the number of overnight stays in Icelandic hotels in May was approximately 255,000, twice as many compared to May last year (35% of beds were in use). Icelandic residents accounted for 54,000 overnight stays in May compared to 201,000 tourists.

The total number of overnight stays in Iceland in 2021 was just over 5 million. Never before had as many Icelanders accounted for such a large percentage of those overnight stays, or 40% (almost two million). In 2019, the number of overnight stays in Iceland was 8.5 million, a figure that plummeted during the pandemic. Statistics Iceland expects a busy summer as far as foreign tourists are concerned.