Tourism rates recorded throughout 2022 had recovered by 95 per cent compared to 2019 levels when no COVID-19 restrictions were imposed.
According to the European Office for Statistics, Eurostat, the total number of nights recorded in EU tourist accommodation facilities reached 2.73 billion in 2022 – five per cent below 2019 levels when 2.88 billion nights were spent. Compared with 2021, when 1.83 billion nights were spent, 2022 levels increased by 49 per cent, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In 2022, tourism figures were up all throughout the year compared to 2021 levels, with a total of 472 million nights spent being recorded in the last three months of 2022. These rates were two per cent below pre-pandemic levels when 483 million nights were spent at the EU accommodation facilities.
“At the beginning of 2022, tourism levels were much lower than the same months in 2019. However, starting in May 2022, the difference became less noticeable. For the remainder of the year, nights spent in tourist accommodation were less than five per cent lower than in 2019, and in July, August, September, and October, they were less than one per cent lower than in the same months in 2019,” Eurostat explains.
The same source shows that nights spent by domestic guests have surpassed 2019 levels, reaching 1.53 billion in 2022 compared with 1.51 billion nights recorded in 2019, showing a one per cent increase. On the other hand, nights spent by tourists had almost fully recovered, reaching 1.20 billion nights spent in 2022 to 1.36 billion recorded in 2019 – 12 per cent more than those recorded in 2022.
As per countries, Latvia recorded the lowest recovery in the number of overnight stays by international tourists, showing a 45 per cent decrease compared to 2019, followed by Slovakia and Lithuania, which remained 40 and 37 per cent behind, respectively. On the other hand, Denmark was the only EU member to record an increase in the number of international guests – recording a four per cent increase, while Croatia and Luxembourg followed closely, remaining two and three per cent below 2019 levels.
Malta, on the other hand, recorded the most overnight stays spent by domestic guests – 39 per cent more than in pre-pandemic levels, followed by Cyprus and Slovenia, falling behind 2019 levels by 35 and 25 per cent, respectively, while the most plunging decreases were recorded in Slovakia (-22 per cent), Romania (-15 per cent) and Bulgaria (13 per cent). These countries also recorded declines in overnight stays by international guests, at least 30 per cent respectively.
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