According to early estimates on tourism published by Eurostat, the EU tourism industry seems to be strongly rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic. The total number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in 2022 was close to the pre-pandemic level (2.72 billion nights in 2022 compared with 2.88 billion in 2019). This represents a substantial increase compared with the number of nights spent in 2020 and 2021 (1.42 billion in 2020, 1.83 billion in 2021).
A night spent (or overnight stay) is each night a guest/tourist (resident or non-resident) actually spends (sleeps or stays) in a tourist accommodation establishment or non-rented accommodation.
In the course of 2022, Eurostat has found that monthly tourism figures increased continuously and finally approached the levels of the corresponding months in 2019. Compared with the pre-summer first half year of 2019 (January–June), in the same period of 2022, nights spent in tourist accommodation were down by 11.0%. Meanwhile, the period July-December closely mirrored 2019 levels of nights spent (-1.9%).
Data for 2022 also show that nights spent by international guests have neared 2019 levels (1.19 billion nights in 2022 compared with 1.36 billion in 2019; -12.6%). This represents a strong increase compared with the number of nights spent by foreign tourists in 2020 and in 2021 (412.5 million nights in 2020, 587.8 million in 2021; +188.8% and +102.6% in 2022, respectively).
Among the EU countries, the number of nights spent by domestic and foreign tourists in 2022 compared with 2019 increased in three of the Member States with available data: Denmark (38.4 million nights in 2022 compared with 34.3 million in 2019; +12.3%), the Netherlands (128.3 million compared with 123.4 million; +3.9%) and Belgium (42.7 million compared with 42.5 million; +0.5%).
Other countries have not yet fully recovered from the pandemic’s impact on tourism.
This was particularly the case in Latvia (3.9 million in 2022 compared with 5.5 million in 2019; -29.6%) and Slovakia (12.3 million compared with 17.2 million; -28.3%).
Albania’s Instat data shows foreign tourist arrivals hit a record high in 2022, which significantly surpassed the best tourist year so far, which was 2019.