Eurostat: EU tourism getting closer to 2019 levels

The European Union’s tourism industry seems to be rebounding from the Covid-19 pandemic strongly, with data for 2022 closely mirroring that for 2019, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on September 27.

Compared with the first half year of 2019, before the pandemic hit the EU, the total number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in the first half year of 2022 was still inferior (1.01 billion in 2022 vs 1.18 billion in 2019) but to a lesser extent than in 2020 (474.7 million) and 2021 (406.8 million), Eurostat said.

This means a 14 per cent decrease in 2022 compared with 2019, against 66 per cent in 2021 and 60 per cent in 2020, the statistics agency said.

Compared with the first half year of 2021, in the same period of 2022, nights spent in tourist accommodation were up by 149 per cent, with substantial increases in all six months.

April was the month with the highest increase, up 302 per cent compared with April 2021 (44 million nights in 2021 vs 177.6 million in 2022).

Data for the first half year of 2022 also show that international tourism has recovered significantly: 432.9 million nights were spent by foreign tourists during this period, up by 154 per cent  compared with the same period in 2020 (170 million) and by 401 per cent compared with 2021 (86.4 million).

“Compared with the same period of 2019, there is still a 22 per cent decrease but recovery seems to be on the way,” Eurostat said.

In terms of domestic travel, data show that it was down seven per cent in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period of 2019.

Similarly to the Covid-19 outbreak months, in the first six months of 2022, the domestic component continued to supplant international travel, although (in line with the normal seasonal pattern building up to the summer season) both indicators registered increasing numbers: from 56.7 million domestic tourism nights in January to 152.4 million in June; and 32.7 million nights spent by foreign tourists in January to 137.2 million in June.

In total, 579.1 million nights were spent by domestic tourists during the first half of 2022, accounting for 57 per cent of all nights spent during this period.

This share was 53 per cent for the same period of 2019 while it increased to 64 per cent in 2020 and 79 per cent in 2021, reflecting the shift to domestic tourism during the pandemic and the recovery of international tourism in 2022, Eurostat said.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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