Nights booked via online platforms: uneven EU growth

Regional data for 2022 on guest nights spent in short-term rental accommodation booked via Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group, or TripAdvisor shows that the overall growth of platform tourism since pre-pandemic times is spread unevenly across Europe. Rural areas in countries such as Poland, France or Sweden showed high growth rates, while city destinations such as Berlin, Prague or Vienna still lag behind the 2019 values.

In 2022 the total EU guest nights grew by around 7% from 512 million in 2019 to 547 million in 2022, but this total growth masks widely diverging results at the regional level. Data from 2019 is used as a comparison in order to establish a pre-pandemic baseline.

Eurostat publishes today regional and city level data for 2022 and national and EU level data for the first quarter of 2023. These data are collected from four private collaborative economy platforms as part of an agreement with the European Commission in March 2020. Regional data are released one quarter later than the national data in accordance with the rules set out in the agreement.

This news item presents several highlights from the more detailed Statistics Explained article. We also offer a shorter article on monthly data that is updated quarterly, the next update is scheduled for early October.

Rural areas grow fast while urban destinations fall behind

According to the data, growth rates in EU regions (at NUTS2 level) of at least moderate touristic importance (defined here as regions with at least 1 million guest nights in 2022) ranged between -52 % for Prague and +93 % for Franche-Comté. Out of the ten regions with the highest growth rates, nine were rural regions in France, while other high-growth areas were in Poland, Germany, and Sweden.

On the other hand, the regions with the most severe losses compared with 2019 included Prague (-52 %), Berlin (-39 %), Budapest (-34 %) and Vienna (-25 %).

Looking at the absolute values, out of the top 20 most popular regions in Europe, six were in Spain and France, five in Italy, two in Portugal and one (#1 in the list) in Croatia. With the exception of urban regions such as Paris and Madrid, these regions are all coastal areas along the Mediterranean or Atlantic coasts.

Guest nights in Q1 of 2023 exceed previous records




In the first quarter of 2023, guest nights at EU level exceeded the previously highest levels (2020 for January and February; 2022 for March) in all three months. So far, in 2023, 83.9 million guest nights have been spent in short-term accommodation booked via one of the four platforms, compared to 67.3 million during the first quarter of 2022. Most nights were spent in France (22.0 million), Spain (18.2 million) and Italy (9.7 million).

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