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EU tourism down by 61% during the pandemic


The European Union’s statistic agency, Eurostat revealed the number of nights spent at EU tourist accommodation establishments dropped by 61% between April 2020 and March 2021 (1.1 billion), compared with the 12 months prior to the pandemic (April 2019 to March 2020: 2.8 billion).

Among the EU Member States with available data*, the highest decreases were recorded in Malta (-80%) and Spain (-78%), followed by Greece (-74%), Portugal (-70%) and Hungary (-66%) At the other end of the scale, the Netherlands and Denmark both reported drops of 36%, according to a press release.

Tourism was among the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the travel restrictions as well as other precautionary measures taken in response.

Between April 2020 and March 2021 compared with the preceding 12 months, the number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments by international visitors fell by 79%, while nights spent by residents fell by 45%.

During the same period, the number of nights spent by international guests decreased in all EU Member States with the largest decreases observed in Spain (-90%), Romania (-89%), Hungary and Finland (both -88%) as well as Czechia (-87%).

The report also revealed that among the EU countries, only residents of Slovenia (+25%) and Malta (+20%) spent more tourism nights inside their own country compared with the 12 prior months. Given the relatively small importance of domestic tourism in these countries, this increase could not offset the sharp drop in international tourism.

* Ireland, France and Cyprus: data not available