Tourism statistics - winter season occupancy
Data from August 2018
Planned article update: September 2019
Change in number of nights spent at hotels and similar accommodation, winter season 2017-18 compared with the same period in 2016-17 (%)
This article analyses the tourism trends of the 2017-2018 winter season in the European Union (EU) Member States, EFTA and candidate countries. In terms of nights spent at hotels and similar accommodation establishments, tourism recorded positive growth rates in most countries compared with the same period in 2016-2017.
2017-2018 winter season: positive growth for tourism in EU28
Comparing the monthly figures for the entire 2017-2018 winter season with the same period of the previous year, 17.8 million more nights (+2.5 %) were spent in hotels and similar establishments in the European Union. This positive growth was reflected in the national figures of 24 out of 27 Member States where data is available. The highest increase was observed in Cyprus (+18.2 %) followed by Latvia (+11.1 %), while declines were reported by the United Kingdom (-6.9 %), Greece (-2.6 %) and Luxembourg (-1.9 %) (See Figure 1 and Table 1).
The most popular destinations for tourists travelling outside their own country of residence during the winter season 2017-2018 were Spain, Italy, Austria and the United Kingdom. The flows to these four countries accounted for more than half (53 %) of all nights spent by non-residents in the EU-28.
Residents and non-residents contributed equally to the increase of nights spent
At EU-28 level the number of nights spent by non-residents in hotels and similar accommodation establishments increased by 2.4 % in the winter season 2017-2018 compared with the same period of the previous year. With the exception of Greece, Spain, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, this increase was reflected in the national figures of all Member States where data is available (see Table 1).
The highest shares of non-residents were recorded in Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg (94.0 %, 92.1 % and 89.6 % respectively), while they were particularly low in Sweden (22.8 %), Germany (24.2 %), Romania (25.3 %) and Poland (28.0 %) .
The number of nights spent by residents in hotels and similar accommodation increased by 2.7 % at EU-28 level, following the increase of domestic tourism in all Member States except Greece and the United Kingdom.
Malta had the highest occupancy rate of bed places ...
Compared with the same period of the previous year, net occupancy rates of bed places in the European Union increased by 1.8 percentage points during the 2017-2018 winter season. These rates ranged from 19.9 % in Greece (November 2017) to 72.2 % in Malta (April 2018) (See Table 2).
In most of the countries, April was the month with the highest occupancy rates of bed places (See Figure 2). Malta was the country with the highest net occupancy rate in the peak month (72.2 %, April), followed by Austria (68.2 %, February) and Cyprus (64.5 %, April).
...and of bedrooms
During the winter season 2017-2018 net occupancy rates of bedrooms in hotels and similar accommodation establishments ranged from 20.9 % in Greece (November 2017) to 82.4 % in Malta (April 2018) (See Table 3).
In most of the countries, April was the month with the highest occupancy rates of bedrooms (See Figure 3). Malta was the country with the highest net occupancy rate in the peak month (82.4 %, April) followed by Austria (79.0 %, February) and the Netherlands (76.9 %, April).
Source data for tables and graphs
Net occupancy rates of bedrooms: aggregates for EU-28 and estimates for periods longer than one month are not available for bedroom occupancy rates.
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 has the potential to contribute towards employment and economic growth, as well as to development in rural, peripheral or less-developed areas. These characteristics drive the demand for reliable and harmonised statistics within this field, as well as within the wider context of regional policy and sustainable development policy areas.
- Occupancy of tourist accommodation establishments (ESMS metadata file — tour_occ_esms)
- Tourism statistics in the European Statistical System - 2008 data
- 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/CE 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/CE 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.
- The winter season runs from November to April of the following year. For example, the 2017-2018 winter season ran from November 2017 to April 2018.
- UNWTO Tourism Highlights