The EU tourism industry seems to be rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic strongly, with data for 2022 closely mirroring that for 2019.
Compared with the first half year of 2019, before the pandemic hit the EU, the total number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in the first half year of 2022 was still inferior (1.01 billion in 2022 vs 1.18 billion in 2019) but to a lesser extent than in 2020 (474.7 million) and 2021 (406.8 million). This means a 14% decrease in 2022 compared with 2019, against 66% in 2021 and 60% in 2020, EuroStat reports.
Compared with the first half year of 2021, in the same period of 2022, nights spent in tourist accommodation were up by 149%, with substantial increases in all six months. April was the month with the highest increase, up 302% compared with April 2021 (44 million nights in 2021 vs 177.6 million in 2022).
Data for the first half year of 2022 also show that international tourism has recovered significantly: 432.9 million nights were spent by foreign tourists during this period, up by 154 % compared with the same period in 2020 ( 170 million) and by 401% compared with 2021 ( 86.4 million). Compared with the same period of 2019, there is still a 22% decrease but recovery seems to be on the way.
In terms of domestic travel, data show that it was down 7% in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period of 2019.
Similarly to the COVID-19 outbreak months, in the first 6 months of 2022, the domestic component continued to supplant international travel, although (in line with the normal seasonal pattern building up to the summer season) both indicators registered increasing numbers: from 56.7 million domestic tourism nights in January to 152.4 million in June; and 32.7 million nights spent by foreign tourists in January to 137.2 million in June.
In total, 579.1 million nights were spent by domestic tourists during the first half of 2022, accounting for 57% of all nights spent during this period. This share was 53% for the same period of 2019 while it increased to 64 % in 2020 and 79% in 2021, reflecting the shift to domestic tourism during the pandemic and the recovery of international tourism in 2022.
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