The FINANCIAL — In 2016, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the European Union (EU) is expected to have reached more than 2.8 billion, up by 2.0% compared with 2015. Since 2009, there has been a steady increase in the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU, notably driven by the rise in the nights spent by non-residents of the Member State.
In 2016, Spain (454 million nights, +7.8% compared with 2015) accentuated its lead, ahead of France (395 mn, -4.6%) and Italy (395 mn, +0.5%), Germany (390 mn, +2.8%) and the United Kingdom (292 mn, -4.5%).
Highest growth in total tourism nights in Bulgaria and Slovakia
The number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in 2016 grew in nearly all Member States for which data are available, with the largest increases being observed in Bulgaria (+17.9%) and Slovakia (+16.0%), followed by Poland (+11.8%) and Cyprus (+10.9%). In contrast, the only significant falls were registered in France (-4.6%, equivalent to 19 mn nights) and the United Kingdom (-4.5%, or nearly 14 mn nights).
Spain, top destination abroad
In the EU, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments by non-residents grew faster (+3.6%) between 2015 and 2016 than those spent by residents (+0.6%). Almost every EU Member State recorded an increase in the number of tourism nights spent by non-residents. A notable exception is France, where this number decreased by 8.7% (or almost 12 mn nights).
In absolute figures, Spain (294 million nights, or 22% of the total of nights spent by non-residents in the EU), Italy (196 mn, or 15%), France (122 mn, or 9%) and the United Kingdom (120 mn, or 9%) recorded the highest number of nights spent by non-residents in their tourism accommodation establishments.