After the decline experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the total number of nights spent in EU tourist accommodation reached 2.73 billion in 2022, which marks a 5% difference compared with the number of nights spent in 2019 (2.88 billion nights), according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU. Compared with 2021 (1.83 billion nights), nights spent were up by 49% in 2022.
A recovery to numbers closer to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 has also been recorded in Cyprus, particularly during the summer months. Also, Cyprus has shown the second highest increase in nights spent by domestic guests compared to 2019 (+35%), even if nights spent by international guests remained approximately 15% lower (a little bit lower than the EU average).
In the course of 2022, tourism figures for the EU in all months were higher than the corresponding months in 2021, with the fourth quarter of 2022 recording 472 million nights. This was a decline of only 2% compared with the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019 (483 million nights).
In the beginning of 2022, tourism levels were much lower than the in same months in 2019. However, starting in May 2022, the difference became less noticeable. For the remainder of the year, nights spent in tourist accommodation were less than 5% lower than 2019, and in July, August, September, and October, they were less than 1% lower than the same months in 2019.
In Cyprus, the number of nights spent in tourism accommodation was significantly lower during the first three months of 2022 compared with the same months in 2019 (-41% in January, -54% in February, -30% in March). April marks the beginning of a significant recovery (-16%), with a dip in May (-36%) and a return to relative recovery in June (-14%).
In July, the number of nights spent in tourism accommodation in Cyprus fully recovers, even increasing slightly compared to 2019 (+1%) and remains improved in August (-3%). During the autumn, the reduction compared to 2019 is much milder (-8% in September and October, -10% in November and December).
Data for 2022 also show that nights spent by domestic guests all over the EU exceeded 2019 levels (1.53 billion nights in 2022 compared with 1.51 billion nights in 2019; +1%). On the other hand, nights spent by international guests were close to full recovery, but still some way off (1.20 billion nights in 2022 compared with 1.36 billion in 2019; -12%).
Among the EU countries, Latvia was the furthest from full recovery in terms of nights spent by international guests (-45% in 2022 compared with 2019), followed by Slovakia (-40%) and Lithuania (-37%).
Denmark was the only EU member to record an increase in nights spent by international guests (+4%), while Croatia (-2%) and Luxembourg (-3%) came close.
On the other hand, Malta recorded the highest increase in nights spent by domestic guests (+39% in 2022 compared with 2019), followed by Cyprus (+35%) and Slovenia (+25%).
The largest drops in nights spent by domestic guests were recorded in Slovakia (-22%), Romania (-15%) and Hungary (-13%), all of which also recorded rather large decreases in nights spent by international guests (at least -30%).