Tourism statistics - nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments

Data extracted in March 2019.

Planned article update: November 2019.

Highlights

In December 2018 compared with December 2017, 4.5 million more nights (+3.0 %) were spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union.

Nights spent at tourist accommodation across the EU grew by 2.4 % in 2018.

Both non-residents and residents spent more nights in EU-28 tourist accommodation in 2018 compared with 2017 (+2.6 % and +2.2 % respectively).

Annual estimates - Number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments, EU-28, 2000-2018 (index 2000=100)

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 (December 2018) are compared with the same month of the previous year. Furthermore, the article includes estimates for the annual comparison of the entire year 2018 with 2017.


Full article

Nights spent in December 2018 increased in most EU countries

In December 2018 compared with December 2017, 4.5 million more nights (+3.0 %) were spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union (see Figure 1 and Table 1). This increase, which was observed in 22 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) (+2.2 %) and non-residents (inbound tourists) (+4.2 %).

Figure 1: Percentage change in number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments, December 2018 compared with December 2017 (%) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)


Table 1: Nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments, December 2018 and December 2017 (thousand nights) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

In Cyprus, Croatia and Lithuania, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation increased more than 10 % in December 2018 compared with December 2017, while Luxembourg, Greece, Malta and France reported drops (-6.8 %, -4.2 %, -0.8 % and -0.7 % respectively).

In the segment of hotels, 2.5 million more nights were spent in December 2018 compared with December 2017 (+2.2 %). Cyprus reported the biggest increase (+17.7 %) followed by Croatia (+9.1 %) and Lithuania (+9.0%), while drops were recorded in Luxembourg (-6.1 %), Greece (-2.9 %), Malta (-1.5 %), France (-1.2 %) and the United Kingdom (-0.5 %).

First results for 2018

Nights spent at tourist accommodation across the EU grew by 2.4 % in 2018

Looking at the twelve-month period from January to December 2018, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU reached more than 3.1 billion, up by 2.4 % compared with 2017 (see Table 2).

Increases were recorded in all months from January to December 2018 compared with the same months of 2017, with the exception of April (-8.1 %) and July (-0.5 %) (see Figure 2). The increase (+8.9 %) recorded in March and the drop (-8.1 %) in April were partly due to the moving Easter holidays; for most countries these fell end March in 2018 while in 2017 they fell mid-April.

Table 2: Nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments, January to December 2018 and January to December 2017 (thousand nights) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)


Figure 2: Evolution of the number of nights spent in EU-28 tourist accommodation establishments, January to December 2018 and January to December 2017 (million nights) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Estimates for all three types of tourist accommodation establishments show rises for 2018; the number of nights spent at hotels, at rented holiday accommodation and at campsites increased by 2.5 %, 2.5 % and 1.8 % respectively (see Table 3).

The increase at EU level reflected national evolutions; in all but two of the 26 Member States where data is available the number of nights spent at tourist accommodation increased in 2018. Lithuania and Latvia recorded the highest growth (+8.6 % and +8.4 % respectively), while Luxembourg and Spain registered drops (-4.7 % and -0.8 % respectively) (see Figure 3).

Table 3: Annual estimates - Percentage change in number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments by NACE class, 2018 compared with 2017 (%) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)


Figure 3: Annual estimates - Percentage change in number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments, 2018 compared with 2017 (%) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Increase in total nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments due to both residents and non-residents

In 2018 the EU tourist accommodation sector continued its recovery that started in 2010 following the two years of decline, in 2008 and 2009 (see Figure 4), with a growth of +2.4 % compared with 2017.

Figure 4: Annual estimates - Number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments, EU-28, 2000-2018 (index: 2000=100) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Despite a lower growth pace than the previous years, both non-residents and residents spent more nights in EU-28 tourist accommodation in 2018 compared with 2017 (+2.6 % and +2.2 % respectively).

The growth of non-resident nights at EU level was reflected in most EU Member States for which data is available. Latvia, Belgium and Lithuania recorded the highest increase (+9.9 %, +9.0 % and +8.4 % respectively) while drops were reported by Luxembourg (-4.6 %) and Spain (-1.4 %) (see Figure 5).

Nights spent by residents increased in all but three of the 26 Member States where data is available. The biggest increase was recorded in Cyprus (+11.0 %) while Greece, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom reported drops of -6.9 %, -5.4 % and -0.7 % respectively (see Figure 6).

Figure 5: Annual estimates - Percentage change in number of nights spent by non-residents at tourist accommodation establishments, 2018 compared with 2017 (%) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)


Figure 6: Annual estimates - Percentage change in number of nights spent by residents at tourist accommodation establishments, 2018 compared with 2017 (%) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

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.

For the year-to-year evolution of the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation and a detailed analysis of 2017 annual data, see Tourism statistics - annual results for the accommodation sector.

Context

The EU is a major tourist destination, with five Member States among the world’s top ten destinations for holidaymakers, according to UNWTO[1] 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.

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