Home » Number of nights tourists spent in Europe in 2022 reached 95% of pre-Covid level

Number of nights tourists spent in Europe in 2022 reached 95% of pre-Covid level

On 15 January, Eurostat published national-level data on the number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments in the last quarter of 2022 and over the entire year. The results show that, in 2022, the total number of nights spent in EU tourism accommodation reached 2.73 billion, making almost a full recovery at 95% of 2019 levels (2.88 billion).

Compared to 2021, each month surpassed the previous year, with an overall improvement of 49% compared to the 1.83 billion nights tourists spent in Europe in 2021.

© Eurostat

The small 5% gap is largely due to a great summer season, during which guests spent around 251 million nights in short-term rental accommodation in the EU, booked via Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group or TripAdvisor, an increase of around 24%, compared with the same period of 2021 and 9% compared to the summer of 2019. When taking into account all nights spent in EU tourism accommodation, not just short-term rentals, the months of July, August, September, and October saw a less than 1% difference compared to the same period before the pandemic, while the fourth quarter was overall only 2% under 2019 levels.

The report shows the differences between different types of accommodation: hotels, holiday and other short stay and campsites. From the three, only camping exceeded pre-Covid levels by 6%, while hotels remained 9% behind and short-stay rentals coming very close to full recovery, at 99.6%.

© Eurostat

Although all three types of tourist accommodation showed increases for 2022 compared with 2021 (see Figure 5), only nights spent in campsites, the smallest segment, exceeded 2019 levels (+6 %). The number of nights spent in hotels in 2022 remained 9 % lower compared with 2019, while the segment of holiday and other short-stay accommodation came very close to the pre-pandemic level (-0.4 %). Within the latter segment, experimental statistics on short-stay accommodation offered via online collaborative economy platforms showed a recovery for the tourism platform, with 2022 levels already well above 2019.

Domestic guests also heavily contributed to the rebound, balancing the slower recovery of international travel, nights spent by international visitors in the EU reaching only 88% of pre-pandemic levels. On the other hand, nights from domestic guests managed to exceed 2019 levels by 1% (1.53 billion nights in 2022 compared with 1.51 billion nights in 2019).

© Eurostat

Denmark was the only Member State to exceed 2019 levels of international guests (+4%), with Croatia (98%) and Luxembourg (97%) being closely behind. Being the furthest away from a full rebound, Latvia only recovered 55% of the number of nights international guests spent in tourism accommodation, followed by Slovakia, with 60%, and Lithuania, with 37%.

Regarding domestic tourists, Malta recorded the highest increase, surpassing pre-Covid levels by 39%, followed by Cyprus (+35%) and Slovenia (+25%), while the largest drop was recorded in Slovakia (-22%), followed by Romania (-15%) and Hungary (-13%).