Press release from Eurostat
First estimates of tourism in the EU in 2019
Largest increases in Slovakia and Lithuania
In 2019, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union (EU) is expected to have reached more than 3.2 billion, up by 2.4% compared with 2018. Since 2009, there has been a steady increase in the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU, notably driven by a rise in nights spent by non-residents of the country visited.
In 2019, Spain (469 million nights, +0.5% compared with 2018) retained its lead, ahead of France (446 mn, +0.8%), Germany (436 mn, +4.0%), Italy (433 mn, +0.9%) and the United Kingdom (375 mn, +5.7%).
These early estimates, which include nights spent whether for business or leisure, come from an article issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Highest growth in tourism nights in Slovakia and Lithuania
The number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in 2019 grew in nearly all Member States, with the largest increases being observed in Slovakia (+12.6%) and Lithuania (+10.0%), followed by the Netherlands (+6.8%), the United Kingdom (+5.7%) and Romania (+5.6%).
In contrast, the only decreases were registered in Greece (-3.0%) and Malta (-2.7%).
Share of nights spent by residents highest in Romania, nights spent by non-residents highest in Malta
In the EU, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation by residents grew at the same pace (+2.4%) between 2018 and 2019 as those spent by non-residents (+2.4%).
Almost every EU Member State recorded an increase in the number of tourism nights spent by residents, with the highest increases recorded in Slovakia (+15.1%), Cyprus (+13.0%), Croatia (+10.0%), Lithuania (+9.9%) and Malta (+9.2%).
Similarly, the number of tourism nights spent by non-residents rose in a majority of EU Member States, with the largest increases registered in the United Kingdom (+19.2%), the Netherlands (+10.6%), Lithuania (+10.0%) and Slovakia (+8.4%).
Within the EU Member States, the largest shares of nights spent by residents were recorded in Romania (83% of total nights spent), Germany and Poland (both 80%) as well as Sweden (75%). In contrast, the largest shares of nights spent by non-residents were registered in Malta (95% of total nights spent), Cyprus (94%), Croatia (92%) and Luxembourg (88%).
Methods and definitions
Data are collected by the competent national authorities of the Member States and are compiled according to a harmonised methodology established by EU regulations before transmission to Eurostat. Surveys on the occupancy of accommodation establishments are generally conducted on a monthly basis, and cover at least all tourist accommodation establishments having ten or more bed places (for Member States accounting for less than 1% of the total annual number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments in the EU: twenty or more bed places).
In this publication, estimates for the entire year 2019 were obtained by extrapolating the evolution for the first ten or eleven months of the year to the remaining months.
Under the Statistical classification of economic activities (NACE Rev. 2), tourist accommodation establishments include:
Hotels and similar accommodation (NACE 55.1): Provision of accommodation, rented typically on a daily or weekly basis, principally for short stays by visitors. This includes the provision of furnished accommodation in guest rooms and suites. Services include daily cleaning and bed-making. A range of additional services may be provided such as food and beverage services, parking, laundry services, swimming pools and exercise rooms, recreational facilities as well as conference and convention facilities. It includes accommodation provided by hotels (and similar establishments, for instance operating under the name ‘bed & breakfast’), resort hotels, suite/apartment hotels and motels.
Holiday and other short-stay accommodation (NACE 55.2): Provision of accommodation, rented typically on a daily or weekly basis, principally for short stays by visitors, in self-contained space consisting of complete furnished rooms or areas for living/dining and sleeping, with cooking facilities or fully equipped kitchens. This may take the form of apartments or flats in small free-standing multi-storey buildings or clusters of buildings, or single storey bungalows, chalets, cottages and cabins. Very minimal complementary services, if any, are provided. It includes accommodation provided by holiday homes for children and other holiday homes, visitor flats and bungalows, cottages and cabins without housekeeping services and youth hostels and mountain refuges.
Camping grounds, recreational vehicle and trailer parks (NACE 55.3): Accommodation in campgrounds, trailer parks, recreational camps and fishing and hunting camps for short stay visitors, provision of space and facilities for recreational vehicles and protective shelters or plain bivouac facilities for placing tents and/or sleeping bags.
The number of nights includes nights spent by both residents and non-residents, whether for business or leisure.
EU aggregate of nights spent by non-residents is the sum of nights spent by EU residents visiting other EU Member States as well as nights spent by non-EU residents.
For more information
Eurostat website section dedicated to statistics on tourism
Eurostat database on tourism
Eurostat Statistics Explained article on nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments
Issued by: Eurostat Press Office
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Date of publication: 24 Jan 2020
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