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Homestays on the Rise in Rural Iceland

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Homestays on the Rise in Rural Iceland

Icelandic Emigration Center, Hofsós.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Figures published by Statistics Iceland show that paid, short-term homestays via platforms like Airbnb and Homeaway increased by an average of 8% from January to May 2018, turisti.is reports. Vacation bookings in these properties—dubbed by Statistics Iceland as “unregistered accommodations,” although a small percentage of them do actually have licenses to operate—seem to be on the increase everywhere in Iceland but Reykjavík.

Statistics Iceland’s data shows that homestays in Reykjavík and the capital area decreased by 3.2% during the first five months of the year. However, homestays everywhere else in the country increased dramatically. The highest jump, or 57.5% was in East Iceland. The next highest was in West Iceland and the Westfjords, 52.85%, followed by South Iceland (26.7%), Northeast Iceland (24.7%), Northwest Iceland (23.6%), and the Suðurnes peninsula (11.6%).

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