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Iceland Mag

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Tourism continues to boom: 37% increase in overnight stays in hotels in October

By Staff

  • Downtown Reykjavík Some Icelanders feel downtown is being taken over by hotels, but the dramatic growth in tourism means still more are needed. Overnight stays in October grew by a whopping 37% year over year. Photo/GVA

Overnight stays at Icelandic hotels increased by 37% in October compared to the year before. While most of the stays were in hotels in the capital region, 63%, the growth was significantly greater in higher in the Southwest, North and East. Statistics Iceland reports that the year-over-year growth in the greater Reykjavík area was only 26%, while the East saw an increase of 115% and the number of overnight stays at hotels grew by 84% in the North. The Southwest also saw an increase of 82%.

Read more: 4% of all apartments in Reykjavík listed on Airbnb  

The occupancy ratio of hotels in Iceland continues to be high. The occupancy rate for hotel rooms was 71.2% in October, while the occupancy rate in the capital was 85.2%. The figures only include hotels which are open year-round, and excludes guesthouses and seasonal hotels. 

The largest groups of guests in October were from the US (81,000), followed by UK residents (79,200) and Germans (23,400). Just slightly more than one in ten guests were Icelandic.

Read more: Around 46 new hotels scheduled to be constructed around Iceland this year 

The number of overnight guests in the past 12 months (Nov 2015 - Oct 2016) is 3.6 million, a 30% increase over the preceding 12 months, continuing the trend of massive year-over-year increases in tourism since 2010 when the number of overnight stays was just 1.3 million. Between 2015 and 2010 the number of overnight stays grew by 120%.

The number of overnight stays at Icelandic hotels have grown by 29% during the first ten months of 2016, compared to the first 10 moths of 2015, and if this growth will continue in November and December, the number of overnight stays in Icelandic hotels is on track to be 3,7 million in 2016, an increase of 180% over 2010.

The growth is also clear indication that the tourism season in Iceland continues to stretch into the winter. October of 2015 similarly saw a massive 40% increase in hotel stays year-over-year compared to October of 2014.

Overnight stays in Icelandic hotels 2000-2015

Massive growth since 2010 Overnight stays in Icelandic hotels 2000-2015, Photo/IcelandMag-Statistics Iceland

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