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1,3 million international visitors to Iceland 2015

The total number of foreign overnight visitors to Iceland was around 1.3 million in 2015, a 29.2% increase from 2014, when foreign visitors numbered around 1 million.

Approximately 1.2 million overnight visitors arrived via flights through Keflavík International Airport in 2015, approx. 18,500 with the ferry Norræna through Seyðisfjörður, and approx. 8,700 via flights through other airports than Keflavík (Reykjavík, Akureyri and Egilsstaðir). It should be noted that figures for gateways other than Keflavík Airport are based on assessments based on sales and passenger figures, rather than by census.

By point of entry

Visitors by point of entry

Cruise ship passengers

Cruise ship passengers disembarking for day trips are not included in the overnight visitor numbers. 100,141 passengers on 108 cruise ships visited Reykjavík in the summer 2015, a 4.5% decrease in number of passengers from the previous year.

Visitors by nationality

The ten most populous visitor nationalities accounted for approximately 73% of the overnight visitors arriving via flights through Keflavík International Airport in 2015. About 38.3% came from the UK and USA, followed by Germany (8.2%), France (5.2%), Norway (4.1%), Denmark (3.9%), China (3.8%), Canada (3.7%), Sweden (3.4%) and Holland (2.3%). The biggest year-over-year increases from 2014 were among overnight visitors from the USA, the UK, China and Germany.

Sales figures from the ferry Norræna show the breakdown of passengers by nationality. Nine out of ten visitors came from the ten highest scoring countries. Germans were by far the most populous or 45.8%, followed by passengers from Denmark (10.4%) and the Faroe Islands (9.2%).




Increase every month

New records were set in all months of 2015 in comparison with the same months 2014. The year-over-year increase exceeded 30% for eight months, with the largest increases in October (49.3%), September (39.4%) and May (36.4%).



Visitors by season

Over the past four years, the increase in the number of tourists has been proportionately greater in off season months (winter, spring and fall) than in the summer and in 2015, 59.8% of visitors came in the off season months. Winter arrivals have increased the most, with 28.9% of overnight visitors arriving in the winter months in 2015.

 Visitors by season

Visitors by market

Some differences may be seen in the annual distribution of visitors from different market areas. Thus, visitors from central and south Europe were prominent during the summer months, while visitors from the Nordic countries, North America and from countries categorised as “other” were arrived more evenly throughout the year. Visitors from the UK were the exception, as around 50% of these visitors came during the winter months.


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