Number of Tourists in Iceland Down by 20 Percent

Vala Hafstað

The number of tourists in Iceland in May was 173,000, representing a 17 percent decrease from the same period last year, when 209,000 tourists visited the country. During the second quarter of the year, the number of tourists visiting the country was down by 20 percent, compared to last year’s second quarter, or from 448,000 in 2018 to 390,000 this year.

The information was published today by Statistics Iceland.

Overnight stays in May were 690,000, which is a 10 percent decrease compared to May of 2018, when they were 767,000. The largest decline was seen in the number of Airbnb and comparable overnight stays, or 29 percent. Those were 89,000 compared to 125,000 in May of last year. The reduction in overnight stays at hotels in May was 3 percent, compared to May of last year. At the same time, the utilization rate at hotels went from 58 to 56 percent, and the supply of hotel rooms increased by 13 percent – from 9,200 to 10,500 rooms.

Looking at the three-month period March-May, the total number of overnight stays at hotels was down 3 percent, compared to the same period last year, while overnight stays through Airbnb and similar websites were down by 14 percent.

During those same three months, the number of passenger departures from Keflavík International Airport fell by 12 percent, and the number of foreign tourists declined by almost 15 percent. According to Isavia, the company that operates the airport, the number of transit passengers was down by 43 percent during this time.

During the second quarter of this year, the number of transit passengers was down by 48 percent, compared to the same quarter last year, from almost 560,000 in 2018 to 290,000 this year.

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