EU Tourism Sets New Record With Nearly 3 Billion Nights Spent in 2023

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The 2023 EU tourism sector is estimated to have surpassed the levels seen in 2019 regarding tourist accommodation establishments, as revealed by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, based on monthly January-October or November 2023 data

In 2023, the estimated number of nights spent reached 2.92 billion, which is 1.6 per cent more compared to 2019, the pre-pandemic year, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Of those 2.92 billion, 46 per cent accounted for international tourists, while in 2019 the percentage of foreign tourists was 47 per cent of the total.

The 2023 figure exceeds the pre-pandemic level for 2019 by 1.6 per cent, although international tourism was still catching up (-0,4 per cent compared with 2019).

Eurostat

During the third quarter of 2023, 1.2 billion nights spent were recorded, which represented a 0.7 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2022.

For the 26 EU members with available data, 17 reported a positive trend while nine reported a decrease compared with the third quarter of 2022.

Eurostat

Malta recorded the highest growth (+11.1 per cent), followed by Cyprus (+10.2 per cent), Slovakia (+9.6 per cent) and Latvia (+8.6 per cent).

Overall, 2023 marked an increase compared to the previous year as well, with 171 million more nights spent recorded. According to Eurostat, the increase was mainly because more international guests stayed longer (+146 million nights), and there was also an increase in nights spent by domestic guests (+25 million).

Except for Luxembourg, which experienced a slight decrease (-0.1 per cent), all other EU member states saw a rise in nights spent compared to 2022. The highest increase was seen in Germany (+ 32.8 million) and Spain (32.3 million).

Malta and Cyprus experienced growth surpassing 20 per cent, while eight other EU member states – Slovakia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Austria, Czechia, Portugal, Romania, and Greece – recorded growth exceeding ten per cent.

In total, for 13 out of 26 EU members for which data was available, the accommodation sector has not yet fully recovered from the pandemic.

Eurostat

Regarding lodging, most nights spent (63 per cent) were recorded in hotels and similar accommodations, followed by holiday and other short-stay accommodations (24 per cent).

Campsites made 13 percent of the overall total, or approximately one in seven nights spent in 2023. In particular, during the third quarter, over one in five nights were spent at a campsite.

Additionally, in the first half of 2023, EU tourism recorded 1,193 million room nights, a figure which surpassed the pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

In general terms, Eurostat reported a 25 per cent increase in tourism levels in 2023 compared to a decade ago, with nights spent increasing from 2.33 billion in 2013 to 2.92 billion.

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