Overnight Stays in Hotels Decrease by 86% Skip to content

Overnight Stays in Hotels Decrease by 86%

By Ragnar Tómas

According to preliminary figures from Statistics Iceland, overnight stays in hotels decreased by 86% in May compared to May 2019.

Preliminary figures 

Each month, Statistics Iceland publishes figures on the number of overnight stays in hotels in Iceland. These figures are published on average 30 days after a given month concludes, with approximately 90% of hotels submitting data to Statistics Iceland. 

Owing to the recent interest of users in this data, however, Statistics Iceland has begun immediately publishing preliminary figures from hotels that submit data shortly after a given month concludes (approximately 20% of all hotels). By adjusting the statistical weight of the data, Statistics Iceland has estimated that bed occupancy and the number of overnight stays in hotels could be estimated every month with a 95% confidence limit.

Preliminary figures indicate that overnight stays in hotels in May of this year were 44,000, compared to 315,000 in May 2019. Overnight stays in hotels in Iceland have decreased by 86%. Statistics Iceland also notes that Icelanders accounted for 38,300 overnight stays in hotels in May of last year. 

“The concurrent estimate of bed occupancy rate in May 2020 was 8.0% (95% CI: 6.8%-9.2%) compared with 45.3% in May last year.”

2 million beds

As noted by RÚV, summer is the busiest time of year for commercial lodging companies in Iceland. There are an estimated 2 million beds available at any given time for travellers in Iceland. 

As in other countries, there have been significantly fewer tourists in Iceland owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hotels have taken different approaches in their response to the crisis. Hótel Saga has announced the university students will be able to rent rooms on a long-term basis this fall. Other hotels have tried to appeal to local travellers.

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