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Record level of 2.7bn tourism nights in the EU28 in 2014

2015.01.29

In 2014, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU is expected to have reached a new peak of around 2.7 billion nights, up by 1.7% compared with 2013. Following the decline observed in 2009 with the beginning of the financial crisis, there has been a steady increase in the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU over the last 5 years. This pattern can be observed for nights spent by both residents and non-residents.

In 2014, France (403 million nights, -1.2% compared with 2013) and Spain (401 mn, +3.1%) continued to be the top Member States in terms of tourism nights, followed by Italy (370 mn, -1.8%) and Germany (366 mn, +2.9%). These estimates, which include nights spent whether for business or leisure, come from a publication issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. 

Highest growth in total tourism nights in Latvia, Belgium, Portugal and Greece

The number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in 2014 grew in the majority of Member States for which data are available, with the largest increases being observed in Latvia (+11.1%), Belgium (+7.2%), Portugal (+7.1%) and Greece (+6.9%). In contrast, the largest falls were recorded in Slovakia (-5.5%), Finland (-1.9%) and Italy (-1.8%).

Spain accounts for 21% of the non-resident demand in the EU

After the two Mediterranean island Member States, Malta (96%) and Cyprus (94%), the highest shares of nights spent by non-residents were registered in 2014 in Croatia (92%), Luxembourg (88%) and Greece (79%), and the lowest in Romania (18%), Poland (19%) and Germany (20%). In the EU, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments by non-residents grew faster (+2.3%) between 2013 and 2014 that those spent by residents (+1.1%). In 2014, the largest increases in nights spent by non-residents were observed in the Netherlands (+10.2%), Latvia (+9.9%), Denmark, Portugal and Romania (all +8.3%) and Greece (+8.0%), and by residents in Latvia (+13.9%), Malta (+11.2%), Hungary (+8.2%) and Belgium (+8.1%). In absolute figures, Spain (260 million nights, or 21% of the total of nights spent by non-residents in the EU) and Italy (184 mn, or 15%) recorded the highest number of nights spent by non-residents in their tourism accommodation establishments. 

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Under the Statistical classification of economic activities (NACE Rev. 2), tourism 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.  
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