Statistics Explained

Tourism statistics - nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments

Data extracted in January 2023.

Planned article update: 15 March 2023.

Highlights


Nights spent in EU tourist accommodation in October 2022 almost reached pre-pandemic October 2019 levels.

First estimates for tourism in 2022: nights spent in EU tourist accommodation reached 94% of the pre-pandemic level of 2019.

First estimates for domestic tourism in 2022: a record number of 1.53 billion domestic nights spent, an increase of 10.9 million compared with 2019 (+0.7%).

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Annual estimates - Number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments, EU, 2009-2022


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 period available are compared with those of the same period of the previous year. Because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which started in March 2020, the number of nights spent is also compared with the pre-Covid-19 levels of the same period in 2019.

The current article discusses the data for October 2022 and includes first estimates for the entire year 2022.


Full article

October 2022 almost reached pre-pandemic October 2019 levels

In October 2022, 206.9 million nights were spent in EU tourist accommodation (see Table 1). This corresponds to 25.0 million more nights (+14 %) than those spent in October 2021. All EU countries with available data reported positive trends, with the exception of Slovenia where the number of nights spent decreased by 15% compared with October 2021. The highest increases were recorded in Bulgaria and Latvia, with +66 % and +61 % respectively.

With only 0.4 % fewer nights, tourism in October 2022 almost reached October 2019 levels. However, only 11 EU Member States recorded an increase compared with pre-pandemic October 2019, while Denmark, the Netherlands and Bulgaria were on top with increases above 12 % (see Figure 1).


Table 1: Nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments, October 2022 (thousand nights) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)


Figure 1: Nights spent in tourist accommodation, October 2022 compared with October 2019 (% change) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Looking at the breakdown by origin of the guest, in October 2022 compared with October 2019, Europeans spent 6.0 % more nights in their own country's tourist accommodation (domestic guests). This overall growth reflects increases in 22 out of the 26 EU countries with available data (see Figure 2). Cyprus (+71 %) and Malta (+45 %) recorded the highest increases while Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Greece reported drops.

The recovery of international tourism was slower than that of domestic tourism. In October 2022 compared with the same month in 2019, 6.8 % fewer nights were spent by international guests in EU tourist accommodation. This trend was reflected in most EU Member States' data, while Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal and France recorded a growth in foreign tourism nights compared with October 2019.

Figure 2: Nights spent by international and domestic guests in tourist accommodation, October 2022 compared with October 2019 (% change) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Figure 3 shows the impact of the pandemic on tourism, with the sharp drop in the number of nights spent in March 2020, the start of a slow recovery in May 2020, which continued in 2021 and 2022, while it clearly shows the trend towards a full return to pre-pandemic levels from July 2022 onwards.

Figure 3: Nights spent in EU tourist accommodation, January to December 2019, 2020 and 2021 and January to October 2022 (million nights) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

First estimates for tourism in 2022: nights spent in EU tourist accommodation reached 94 % of the pre-pandemic level of 2019

Estimates for the entire year were obtained by extrapolating the evolution for the first ten or eleven months of the year to the remaining months. Compared with 2021, the total number of nights spent in EU tourist accommodation in 2022 is estimated to have increased by 48.3 %, reaching 2.7 billion nights corresponding to 94.4 % of the pre-pandemic level of 2019 (see Figures 4 and 5). The number of nights spent in Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium surpassed 2019 levels (+12.3 %, +3.9 % and +0.5 % respectively). Although nights spent in all other EU countries with available data increased compared with 2021, they remained lower than in 2019.

Figure 4: Annual estimates - Number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments, EU, 2009-2022 (millions) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_ninat) (tour_occ_nim)


Figure 5: Annual estimates - Nights spent in tourist accommodation, 2022 and 2021 compared with 2019 (%) (2019=100) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Looking at the origin of the guest, in 2022, nights spent by Europeans travelling inside their own country (domestic guests), increased by 0.7 % compared with 2019 (see Figure 6). Domestic nights exceeded 2019 levels in all but six EU Member States where data is available, with increases above 40 % in Malta and Cyprus, while Slovakia, Romania, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Germany were still below 2019 level.

Figure 6: Nights spent by domestic guests in tourist accommodation, 2022 and 2021 compared with 2019 (%) (2019=100) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Although nights spent by international guests at EU tourist accommodation in 2022 increased by 2.6 % compared with 2021, they remained lower than those spent in 2019 (-12.6 %). All EU Member States with available data reported increases compared with 2021, while only in Denmark nights spent by international guests exceeded 2019 levels (see Figure 7). In all EU countries, however, the recovery of international nights spent in 2022 reached at least half of those spent in 2019, while Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Spain and France were less than ten percent away from the pre-pandemic level.

Figure 7: Nights spent by international guests in tourist accommodation, 2022 and 2021 compared with 2019 (%) (2019=100) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)

Although all three types of tourist accommodation showed increases for 2022 compared with 2021 (see Table 2), only nights spent in campsites exceeded 2019 levels (+5.3 %), mainly due to domestic guests (+8.8 %). At country level, half of the EU countries with available data reported increases in the number of nights spent in campsites in 2022 compared with 2019.

The number of nights spent in hotels in 2022 remained 9.4 % lower compared with 2019. Only Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium reported increases while nights spent in hotels in Latvia, Slovakia and Hungary were still more than 20% below 2019.

Nights spent in holiday and other short-stay accommodation nearly reached pre-pandemic 2019 level (-0.7 %), with seven EU countries exceeding 2019 level.

Table 2: Annual estimates - Nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments by NACE class, 2022 compared with 2019 (% change) - Source: Eurostat (tour_occ_nim)


Data on tourism nights is included in the interactive European Statistical Recovery Dashboard, which contains monthly and quarterly indicators from a number of statistical areas relevant for tracking the economic and social recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, across countries and time. The dashboard is updated every month with the latest available data for each indicator.


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 2021 annual data, see Tourism statistics - annual results for the accommodation sector.

Context

The EU is a major tourist destination, with four 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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