Number of seaborne passengers in EU ports halved in 2020 

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The FINANCIAL – In 2020, the total number of passengers embarked and disembarked in EU ports was 231 million. As the result of strict precautionary measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was almost half the amount of 2019 (419 million).

This information comes from data on maritime transport published by Eurostat recently. This article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

After falling regularly between 2008 and 2014, with an exception of 2013 (+0.3% compared with 2012), the total number of passengers embarked and disembarked in EU ports recovered in the last five years to reach a peak in 2019 with 419 mil

Messina remained the largest EU passenger port in 2020

In 2020, the top 20 passenger ports accounted for close to 36% of the total number of passengers embarked and disembarked in the reporting EU countries.

The port of Messina in Italy remained the largest EU passenger port, with 7.7 million passengers. This port was followed by Reggio Di Calabria in Italy (7.5 million passengers) and by two ports in Greece, Paloukia Salaminas and Perama (each recording 5.7 million passengers).

All the top 20 ports recorded substantial declines in 2020. The largest fall was recorded in Calais in France (-61% compared with 2019), losing 7 positions in the ranking for 2020.

Similarly, Helsinki (Finland), Piraeus (Greece), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsingborg (Sweden) and Helsingør (Elsinore; Denmark) all saw passenger numbers decline by more than a half over this period. At the other end of the scale, Piombino (Italy) registered the smallest decline (-8.3%), albeit still substantial.

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