EU tourism industries: economic growth 2012-2016


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In 2016, one in ten enterprises in the European non-financial business economy belonged to the tourism industries. These 2.4 million enterprises employed 13.6 million people, accounting for 10 % of the persons employed in the non-financial business economy and 22 % of persons employed in the services sector.

Tourism industries do not provide services only to tourists. The number of people employed, turnover, etc. is also related to services provided to non-tourists, for example restaurants. The subcategories 'mainly tourism' and 'partially tourism' are used to take this into account.

Between 2012 and 2016, tourism industries (mainly and partially) showed a stronger growth than the total economy in relation to the number of enterprises, turnover, value added and persons employed.

Looking at those industries that are 'mainly tourism', between 2012 and 2016 the number of enterprises grew by 19 % to 405,000, the turnover by 13 %, the value added recorded a growth of 28 %, and the number of persons employed increased by 10 %. For the total economy the corresponding growth rates were 9 %, 5 %, 16 % and 6 % respectively.

Charts showing EU trends for number of enterprises, turnover, value added and persons employed, by economic activities, for 2012 to 2016

The economic activities covered by the subcategories 'mainly tourism' and 'partially tourism' can be found here.   


For more information:

  • Statistics Explained article Tourism industries – economic analysis, with more detailed statistics on the structure of the tourism industries at European Union and Member State levels and on the monthly and quarterly evolution of turnover.
  • Overview of tourism statistics.


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