Iceland has once again distinguished itself in the tourism arena, albeit not in a way it would necessarily consider good for the industry.
According to data compiled by Vouchercloud, Iceland has the highest rates for Airbnb accommodation, averaging £112 per night. This surpasses second-place contenders Sweden (£82 per night) and Andorra (£79 per night).
Interestingly, Icelandic law specifies that Icelanders renting out their homes on Airbnb cannot do so for more than 2 million ISK for a maximum of 90 days per year – averaging about 22,222 ISK per night. By contrast, £112 is over 15,000 ISK, at current exchange rates.
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Airbnb has been having considerable impact on Iceland’s tourism industry and the country as a whole. As Grapevine reported, in downtown Reykjavík, anywhere from 50% to 75% of available housing is comprised of Airbnb accommodations. The vast majority of Airbnb postings are not for single rooms, either: they comprise entire households.
This has been affecting the rental market, as available housing for locals becomes more scarce, making it increasingly expensive to live in Reykjavík. Further, as Icelandic law puts a cap on how much Airbnb hosts can charge for a single night, hotels must underbid these listings in order to compete, adding further pressure.
Correction: The article originally stated that the 90-day maximum was 1 million ISK. The law has since been amended since its initial passage, and is now 2 million ISK.
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