Bulgaria had the highest increase among all European Union countries in the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in 2016, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on January 24.
Counted as “tourism nights”, the total for Bulgaria was 25.2 million, an increase of 17.9 per cent over the figure for Bulgaria for 2015.
This figure was made up of 16.2 million non-residents and 9.1 million, Eurostat said, noting that regarding its data, figures might not add up due to rounding.
For non-residents, the increase was 21 per cent and for residents, 12.8 per cent.
Eurostat said that the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in 2016 grew in nearly all EU countries for which data are available.
After Bulgaria, the next-largest increase was Slovakia (16 per cent), followed by Poland (11.8 per cent) and Cyprus (10.9 per cent).
In contrast, the only significant falls were registered in France (-4.6 per cent, equivalent to 19 million nights) and the United Kingdom (-4.5 per cent, or nearly 14 million nights).
In 2016, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the European Union (EU) is expected to have reached more than 2.8 billion, up by two per cent compared with 2015.
Since 2009, there has been a steady increase in the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU, notably driven by the rise in the nights spent by non-residents of the member state.
In 2016, Spain (454 million nights, +7.8 per cent compared with 2015) accentuated its lead, ahead of France (395 million, -4.6 per cent) and Italy (395 million, +0.5 per cent), Germany (390 million, +2.8 per cent) and the United Kingdom (292 million, -4.5 per cent). These early estimates include nights spent whether for business or leisure, Eurostat said.
In the EU, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments by non-residents grew faster (+3.6 per cent) between 2015 and 2016 than those spent by residents (+0.6 per cent).
Almost every EU country recorded an increase in the number of tourism nights spent by non-residents. A notable exception is France, where this number decreased by 8.7 per cent (or almost 12 million nights).
In absolute figures, Spain (294 million nights, or 22 per cent of the total of nights spent by non-residents in the EU), Italy (196 million, or 15 per cent), France (122 million, or nine per cent) and the United Kingdom (120 million, or nine per cent) recorded the highest number of nights spent by non-residents in their tourism accommodation establishments.