Partial recovery in tourism trips in 2021

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Partial recovery in tourism trips in 2021

In 2021, residents of the 27 EU Member States made 879 million tourism trips with at least one overnight stay (+23% compared with 2020; 713 million trips). This was still below the pre-pandemic level of 1.1 billion tourism trips in 2019. Residents from 3 Member States accounted for more than half of the trips made in 2021: France (200 million trips), Germany (178 million) and Spain (131 million).

This information comes from data on tourism trips made by EU residents, published by Eurostat today. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

The pandemic caused a shift towards domestic tourism. In 2020 and 2021, Europeans spent around 85% of all their tourism trips within their country of residence, against 73% domestic trips in 2019.

In 2021, trips to other EU countries accounted for 12% of all tourism trips (compared with 11% in 2020 and 20% in 2019). On the other hand, the number of trips with a destination outside the EU represented only 3% of all tourism trips (compared with 3% in 2020 and 8% in 2019).

In terms of nights spent, on average, domestic trips tend to be shorter than trips abroad. The share of domestic tourism nights in total nights spent in 2021 was 73% (compared with 76% in 2020 and 58% in 2019).

Slower recovery of business travel

Tourism statistics comprise trips for personal purposes as well as trips for professional purposes. In 2021, business trips accounted for 8% of all reported trips (compared with 9% in 2020 and 11% in 2019).

In 2021, the number of trips for personal purposes recovered to 80% of the pre-pandemic level (811 million trips compared with 1.0 billion trips in 2019). However, the number of trips for professional purposes recovered much less, standing at 55% of the pre-pandemic level (68.4 million business trips compared with 125 million in 2019), which may reveal a significant and more permanent shift to remote or hybrid business contacts.

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This press release was sourced from Eurostat on 21-Dec-2022.