Tourism statistics - nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments
- Data extracted in June 2017. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: September 2017
This article focuses on the short-term evolutions in the nights spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union (EU). The data from the most recent reference month available (March 2017) are compared with the same month of the previous year. In addition, data from the first quarter 2017 (January to March) are compared with the same period of the previous year.
Furthermore, the article includes estimates for the annual comparison of the entire year 2016 with 2015.
- 1 Main statistical findings
- 2 First results for 2016
- 3 Data sources and availability
- 4 Context
- 5 See also
- 6 Further Eurostat information
- 7 External links
- 8 Notes
Main statistical findings
March and first quarter 2017
In March 2017 compared with March 2016, 5.8 million fewer nights (-3.4 %) were spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union (see Figure 1 and Table 1). This decrease, which was observed in 10 out of 26 EU Member States for which data are available, was due to both residents (domestic tourists travelling inside their own country of residence) who spent 1.5 million less nights (-7.0 %) and non-residents (inbound tourists) who spent 1.6 million less nights (-2.2 %).
The biggest drop was recorded in Croatia (-11.1 %) followed by Spain (-9.6 %), Austria (-9.4 %) and Denmark (-9.1 %), while Cyprus was the Member State which recorded the highest increase (+12.4 %) in March 2017 compared with March 2016.
In the segment of hotels, the number of nights spent in March 2017 decreased by -0.7 % compared with March 2016 . Croatia and Austria were the Member States which recorded the biggest drops (-10.2 % and -9.7 % respectively), while Cyprus and Sweden recorded the highest increases (+12.4 % and +8.4 % respectively).
Looking at the three-month period from January to March 2017, an increase of 0.6 % was recorded in the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments, compared with the same period one year earlier (see Table 2). In January 2017 compared with January 2016, the number of nights spent increased by +5.8 %, while in February 2017 compared with the same month in 2016 an increase of +0.8 % was observed (see Figure 2).
First results for 2016
Nights spent in tourist accommodation across the EU grew by 2.4 % in 2016
Looking at the twelve-month period from January to December 2016, an increase of +2.4 % was recorded in the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments, compared with the same period one year earlier, while hotels recorded a growth of 2.9 % (see Table 3). The highest increase during this period was recorded in March (+12.1 %) while in April 2016 a drop of -2.4 % was observed compared with April 2015 (see Figure 2). This could be attributed to the Easter holiday falling in March in 2016 while it was in April in 2015.
Estimates for all three types of tourist accommodation establishments show rises for 2016; the number of nights spent at hotels, in rented holiday accommodation and at campsites increased by +2.9 %, +1.9 % and +1.1 % respectively (see Table 3).
The increase at EU level reflected national evolutions; only in four out of the 27 Member States where data are available did the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation decrease in 2016. Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovakia recorded the highest growth (+17.7 %, +14.8 % and +14.7 % respectively), while the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Luxembourg registered drops (see Figure 4).
Increase in total nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments mainly due to non-residents
In 2016, the EU tourist accommodation sector continued its recovery which started in 2010 following the two years of decline, in 2008 and 2009 (see Figure 5).
The nights spent by non-residents grew at a slower pace in 2016 (+3.9 %) than in 2015 (+4.6 %). The growth of non-resident nights at EU level was reflected in all EU Member States for which data are available, except Belgium (-9.4 %), France (-7.1 %) and Luxembourg (-0.7 %), most likely impacted by foreign tourists changing preferences following the attacks that hit Belgium and France (see Figure 6).
Following an increase of 3.5 % in 2015, nights spent by residents increased by 1.2 % in 2016. Slovakia and Bulgaria reported the highest growth rates (+14.6 % and +12.3 % respectively), while residents of the United Kingdom, Malta, Portugal and Luxembourg spent fewer nights in tourist accommodation in their own countries in 2016 compared with 2015 (see Figure 7).
Data sources and availability
This article presents the short-term trends in nights spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union (EU), analysing monthly data provided by Member States. In addition, it includes estimates for the annual comparison of the entire year 2016 with 2015.
For the year-to-year evolution of the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation and a more detailed analysis of 2015 annual data, see Tourism statistics - annual results for the accommodation sector.
The EU is a major tourist destination, with five Member States among the world’s top ten destinations for holidaymakers, according to UNWTO data. Tourism is an important activity in the EU which contributes to employment and economic growth, as well as to the development of rural, peripheral or less-developed areas. These characteristics drive the demand for reliable and harmonised statistics on this activity, as well as within the wider context of regional policy and sustainable development policy areas.
- Tourism entry page in Statistics Explained
- All articles on tourism statistics
- Tourism statistics - annual results for the accommodation sector
Further Eurostat information
- Recent Eurostat publications on tourism
- News Release 17/2017 Number of tourism nights spent in the EU slightly up in 2016…despite substantial falls in France and the United Kingdom
Methodology / Metadata
- Capacity and occupancy of tourist accommodation establishments (ESMS metadata file — tour_occ_esms)
Source data for tables and figures on this page (MS Excel)
- With 2012 as reference year:
- Regulation (EU) No 692/2011 of 6 July 2011 concerning European statistics on tourism and repealing Council Directive 95/57/EC.
- Regulation (EU) No 1051/2011 of 20 October 2011 implementing Regulation (EU) No 692/2011 concerning European statistics on tourism, as regards the structure of the quality reports and the transmission of the data.
- Previous legal acts (concerning reference periods before 2012):
- Commission Decision 1999/35/EC of 9 December 1998 on the procedures for implementing Council Directive 95/57/EC on the collection of statistical information in the field of tourism.
- Commission Decision 2004/883/EC of 10 December 2004 adjusting the Annex to Council Directive 95/57/EC on the collection of statistical information in the field of tourism as regards country lists.
- Directive 95/57/EC of 23 November 1995 on the collection of statistical information in the field of tourism.
- Directive 2006/110/EC of 20 November 2006 adapting Directives 95/57/EC and 2001/109/EC in the field of statistics, by reason of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania.
- Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism (Communication from the European Commission, October 2007)
- European Commission - Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs - Tourism