In 2018, tourist accommodation establishments in the European Union (EU) recorded 168 million arrivals from third countries. This corresponds to a total of 512 million nights spent by tourists from outside the EU and an average length of stay of 3.0 nights at the accommodation establishment where they checked in.
Over recent years, the number of tourist arrivals to the EU from third countries has been following an upwards trend. Namely, the number of arrivals recorded in 2018 was 5% higher than the previous year and 30% more than in 2013.
European, Asian and Northern America tourists are top visitors to the EU
Tourists from extra-EU countries accounted for 168 million arrivals at EU accommodation establishments in 2018. The largest share of these arrivals (49%, 82 million arrivals) were by tourists coming from other countries of Europe (*), followed by Asian tourists (23%, 38 million arrivals) and visitors from Northern America (17%, 29 million arrivals). Central and South America, Oceania and Africa, together accounted for 11% of the total arrivals from third countries to the EU.
In 2018, tourists from other European countries spent 315 million nights in EU tourist accommodations, while Asian tourists spent nearly 80 million nights and tourists from Northern America nearly 70 million nights. Together, these three accounted for 89% of all nights spent by tourists from third countries in EU tourist accommodations.
EU residents prefer to travel inside their own country of residence
In 2018, EU residents made 1.1 billion trips, of which 71% were inside their own country of residence and 21% were to another EU country. For the remaining 8% (or 94 million trips), the main destination was a non-EU country. During these extra-EU trips, they spent 982 million nights with an average length of stay of 10.4 days. The average length of stay for EU residents visiting non-EU destinations ranged from 23.4 nights in Oceania to 5.8 nights in the UK.
(*) United Kingdom, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and other European countries.
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