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A renaissance in the EU’s tourism sector

According to data published on Eurostat’s website, European tourism recorded serious losses in 2020. It is estimated  that  the sector’s gross direct value added fell by 32%. Data from 2022, however, confirms that the sector has started to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The data published by Eurostat confirms that European tourism was already  significantly affected in the 1st year of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from about half of the Member States, in 2020 the gross value added of the tourism sector in the economy of the European Union fell by 32% compared to the previous year. At the same time, the total value added in the European market generated by the industry fell from the previous level of 5% to 4%.

In 2019, it is estimated that the share of the tourism sector in the economy of the European Union accounted for about 5%. The largest share of the tourism sector in gross domestic product was recorded in: Croatia (11%), Portugal (8%), Spain (7%), Italy (6%) and Austria (5%). However, gross direct value added was highest in Germany (€124 M), Italy (€100 M) and France (€87 M).

The data published in the report entitled “Tourism Satellite Accounts in Europe” coincides with previous estimates of losses. In 2020, among the most affected, out of 64 industries, were tourism-related sectors. Including: transport services (down 67% compared to 2019), air transport (down 66%) and hotels and temporary accommodation facilities (down 41%). More information about the declines in the Eurostat communication.

Data from 2022, however, indicate an upward trend. Last year, the total number of nights spent in tourist facilities reached a level similar to that of pre-pandemic times, i.e. 2.72 billion nights. In 2019, the number was 2.88 billion. It is worth noting that, according to available data, the number of foreign tourists has also increased. International visitors spent 1.19 billion nights in EU countries last year. In 2019, the number was 1.36 billion.

There has been an increase in interest in destinations such as: Denmark (38.4 million nights in 2022 – 34.3 million in 2019), the Netherlands (128.3 million in 2022 – 123.4 million in 2019), and Belgium (42.7 million in 2022 – 42.5 million in 2019). At the same time, declines remain evident in some countries. This group includes among others Latvia (3.9 million nights in 2022 – 5.5 million in 2019) and Slovakia (12.3 million in 2022 – 17.2 million in 2019). More information on this topic in the text entitled “Tourism in 2022 approaches pre-pandemic levels“.

According to available data, the largest decrease in the number of registrations was recorded in the period from February to April 2020. Radical growth, on the other hand, began in 2021. In the period from April to August, the number of nights was constantly increasing. After the decline recorded in the period from August 2021 to January 2022, the upward trend has returned, which continued, despite a slight decrease in the last quarter of last year to January 2023.

The full text of the report (in English) can be found here:

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