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EU tourism thrives: HOTREC's vision for a vibrant future

Wednesday, 24 January 2024
HOTREC Newsletter

In 2023, EU tourist accommodation establishments witnessed an unprecedented surge in overnight stays, reaching a record of almost 3 billion nights. This reflects a substantial increase of 6.3%, equivalent to 171 million additional nights, compared to 2022. The latest Eurostat data reveals that the 2023 figures not only surpassed those of 2022 but also exceeded the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 by 1.6%.

International tourists played a significant role, contributing to 46% of the total 2.9 billion nights spent in 2023. After three years of a substantially lower share of foreign tourists, this resurgence to pre-pandemic levels signifies a positive trend for the EU's tourism industry.

Hotels and similar establishments emerged as the most popular type of accommodation, constituting 63% of the total with 1.8 billion nights spent, followed by holiday and other short-stay accommodation (24%).

These figures show once more the vital role of the tourism sector in the European economy, accounting for 10% of the EU GDP, creating value for many other industries and value chains. Recognising this significant impact, HOTREC has outlined key objectives in its Manifesto for the Future of European Hospitality to position tourism and Hospitality at the forefront of EU policymaking:

  • A dedicated budget line for tourism, providing direct funding opportunities to support the sector.
  • A Tourism Task Force within the European Parliament to streamline priorities and formulate a comprehensive tourism strategy.
  • A formalised Council of Tourism Ministers or State Secretaries during each Presidency to ensure the recognition of the sector’s value.

As the tourism sector continues to rebound and thrive, the initiatives proposed by HOTREC aim to solidify the industry's resilience and contribute to its sustained growth in the years to come.