Numbers of foreign visitors

The total number of foreign overnight visitors to Iceland was around 2.2 million in 2017, a 24.2% increase from 2016, when foreign visitors numbered around 1.8 million.

Around 98.7% of the total number of visitors came on flights through Keflavík International Airport. Around 22,300 visitors came with Norræna through Seyðisfjörður, or around 1% of the total. Around 6,450 came on flights through Reykjavík Airport or Akureyri Airport, or 0.3 % of the total.

Total numbers of visitors to Iceland

*Departing passengers at Keflavik Airport 

The counting of departing passengers at Keflavik Airport provides additional information on the composition of visitors to Iceland. This is done by manual counting just before the visitors enter the airport security. It´s worth mentioning that, by using this method, all passengers that go through the security check, are included in these numbers. Therefore these figures need to be viewed with a certain caution. It has to be emphasized, though, that most transit passengers are not included in these numbers.
By using the same method, valuable statistics regarding the number of visitors and the composition of nationalities have been gathered, that are comparable from year to year. By doing so you can observe and analyze the changes in tourism with fairly low cost and without causing too much inconvenience to the operations at Keflavík Airport.
A survey, carried out from July 24th until August 6th 2017, showed that 5% of the departing passengers had only used the airport to change flights, i.e. self – connecting between flights of two different carriers / airlines. Another 6% had enjoyed some services (sightseeing, recreation, meals etc.) outside the airport without staying overnight. Additional 3% were foreign citizens living in Iceland for a shorter or longer time. These percentage figures could vary between months and seasons.

 Numbers of foreign visitors to Iceland - Excel documents

Year-over-year (YOY)

Visitors To Iceland Through Keflavik Airport

cruise ship passengers to icelandCruise ship passengers

Since 2010, cruise ship passengers to Iceland have increased significantly from 72,000 in 2010 to 98,700 in 2017. Approximately 97% of cruise ships stopover in Reykjavik, but many ships stay in more than one port.



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