Jan 18 (Reuters) – The number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union in 2022 approached pre-pandemic levels, the bloc’s statistics office Eurostat said on Wednesday, confirming the sector’s recovery path after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 27-nation bloc recorded 2.72 billion nights spent in tourist accommodation last year, down by only 5.6% from 2019 levels, before COVID-19 inflicted heavy losses on the tourism industry due to border closures and lockdowns.
This number is an increase of 91.1% and 48.3% from 2020 and 2021 levels, respectively. The figures cover short-stay accommodation in hotels and similar establishments, as well as camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks and trailer parks.
Domestic travel saw the strongest recovery, already exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 0.7% to 1.53 billion nights, while international tourism was still 12.6% below at 1.19 billion nights.
Among single EU states, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium saw the biggest increase, exceeding 2019 figures by 12.3%, 3.9%, and 0.5%, respectively, joined by non-EU members Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway.
Latvia and Slovakia were among the slowest recovering countries in terms of tourist night numbers in 2022, remaining 75% below 2019 levels.