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Partial recovery in tourism trips in 2021 Partial recovery in tourism trips in 2021

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 percent compared with 2020; 713 million trips).

This was still below the pre-pandemic level of 1.1 billion tourism trips in 2019. Residents from three 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 percent of all their tourism trips within their country of residence, against 73 percent domestic trips in 2019. 

In 2021, trips to other EU countries accounted for 12 percent of all tourism trips (compared with 11 percent in 2020 and 20 percent in 2019). On the other hand, the number of trips with a destination outside the EU represented only three percent of all tourism trips (compared with three percent in 2020 and eight percent 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 percent (compared with 76 percent in 2020 and 58 percent in 2019). 

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

In 2021, the number of trips for personal purposes recovered to 80 percent 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 percent 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.