Traffic on Iceland’s Ring Road decreased by a third in March as compared to the same time last year. Likewise, overnight stays in hotels last month went down significantly. This per a report on short-term tourism indicators published by Statistics Iceland on Friday.
Comparing figures from March 2019 with March 2020, Statistics Iceland determined that traffic on the Ring Road went down by a third overall, with a 31% reduction in both South and West Iceland, a 33% reduction in East Iceland, and a 36% reduction in the North. Car rentals were also down 16% from last year, with 18,361 rentals in March; 63% of the available rental cars in Iceland were inactive last month.
Not unexpectedly, a separate report published by Statistics Iceland shows that gasoline sales are also down significantly in the country: 42% lower in March of this year as compared to March 2019 and 68% lower so far in April. The gathering ban took effect in Iceland on March 15; gasoline sales were about 8% higher in the days leading up to the ban.
Initial figures show that there were 181,000 overnight stays in hotels in Iceland last month, which is down a staggering 53% from March 2019. The bed usage rate was 25.3%, as compared to 56.8% during the same time period last year.
“Roughly 96,000 passengers arrived at Keflavik airport in March and their number decreased by 55% compared to the same month last year when there were 213,000 passengers departing,” reads the report. “The number of Icelandic passengers decreased by 64% during the same period, from 43,000 to 16,000, while the number of foreign passengers decreased by 53%, from 170,000 thousand to 80,000.”
See the full report on short-term tourism indicators (in English) here.