Airbnb hosts in Iceland earn more than their colleagues in other countries, or an average of ISK 1.6 million (USD 16,500, EUR 14,000) per year per apartment located in Reykjavík city center, Vísir reports. The total revenue of hosts in Reykjavík was ISK 5.3 billion last year (USD 53 million, EUR 47.3 million).
This data comes from Dr. Jeroen A. Oskam, who researches the development of the tourism industry and directs the European Tourism Futures Institute at Stenden University in the Netherlands. Oskam holds a lecture in Reykjavík tomorrow on the impact of Airbnb at a meeting held by the Icelandic Travel Industry Association.
According to Oskam, Icelandic Airbnb hosts earn an average of USD 3,500 (EUR 3,100) more than the second highest earning hosts in the world, those in London’s Westminster neighborhood. Barcelona hosts, who have enjoyed a huge stream of tourists for years, earn about USD 8,600 (EUR 7,700), or roughly half that of Icelandic hosts.
“What is most surprising about Reykjavík is that considering how small a city it is, the percentage of guests using Airbnb is in no way consistent with that of other cities. In the year 2015, there were 1.1 million Airbnb guests in Amsterdam and at the same time there were around 200 thousand in Reykjavík. Reykjavík is one sixth the size of Amsterdam,” Oskam stated.
There has been a large increase since 2015, and according to Oskam, 380,000 people used Airbnb accommodation in Reykjavik last year. About 75 percent of all Airbnb apartments in Reykjavík are downtown and in the neighborhoods of Vesturbær and Hlíðar.
Reykjavík’s small size makes it difficult to find a realistic comparison with other European cities, but one can point to the Dutch cities of Rotterdam, which has 616,000 residents in the city center, and The Hague, with 510,000 residents. In the past year, both cities hosted fewer than half the number of Airbnb guests of Reykjavík. Over 5,000 apartments are being rented through Airbnb in Reykjavík and over half (51.3 percent) of them are offered by individuals renting more than one property.