European Tourism Flourishes in 2023: A Look at the Numbers

The European Union’s tourism sector is bouncing back robustly from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent data reveals that the first half of 2023 saw the highest number of nights spent in tourist accommodations in the past decade, marking a significant resurgence in the industry across many EU nations.

In the first six months of 2023, tourist accommodations recorded a staggering 1,193 million nights, an increase of nearly 11 million from the same period in 2019. This figure also represents a growth of 136 million overnight stays compared to the first half of 2022 and a monumental rise from the 406.8 million in 2021 and 474.7 million in 2020.

Each month of 2023 has outperformed its counterpart from the previous year, with January and February witnessing the most substantial growth rates of 45% and 27%, respectively.

While all EU member states, except Hungary, reported an increase in overnight stays compared to 2022, several countries are still striving to match their pre-pandemic performance from 2019. Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Lithuania are among those lagging behind their 2019 figures.

EU monthly nights spent

A significant factor contributing to this year’s impressive numbers is the resurgence of international tourism. The first half of 2023 saw a 22.5% increase in nights spent by foreign tourists, bringing their contribution to 46% of all overnight stays. This is a notable recovery, considering the proportion of foreign tourists had plummeted to 21% in 2021 from 47% in 2019.

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