Tourists spent 284 billion last year
The report concludes that tourists were responsible for 21.4 percent of all private consumption in Iceland last year. Among that figure was 50.4 billion krónur spent on dining (including eating and drinking out) and 58.7 billion on accommodation.
Tourists spent 15.8 percent of their money in Iceland on tours and transport; including hire cars, coach trips and fuel purchases. This third-biggest expense group enjoyed 45 billion krónur of tourists’ money in 2019.
Foreign tourists’ fourth-biggest expense group was food and drink at 22.5 billion, followed by 10.7 billion krónur on “other goods and services”, 9.1 billion on clothes and shoes, 5.4 billion on retail alcohol and tobacco, and 2.2 billion on health.
The data are largely compiled from credit and debit card spend figures tallied against the registered sector categorisations of companies in Iceland. In other words, sales of snack food at large clothes stores or fuel stations, for example, would not be categorised as food. Nevertheless, the report is thought to be a fairly accurate assessment of where tourists spent their money last year and how important they are to the Icelandic economy.