Despite efforts to diversify their tourism offer, Southeast Europe's Adriatic and Black Sea coast countries receive the most visitors in the peak summer months of July and August.
According to data from the EU's statistics office Eurostat, August 2022 saw the most overnight stays and arrivals of tourists, closely followed by July.
While the seasonal pattern was noticeable in all EU member states, it was most apparent in Croatia, where 60% of overnight stays occurred during the two busiest summer months.
Following Croatia in terms of nights spent in July and August were Bulgaria, with many resorts along the Black Sea coast, and Greece, with 48% and 43%, respectively.
There was a similarly high concentration of nights spent in Albania and Montenegro, at 46% each, among the Western Balkans EU candidate nations.
Malta and Finland had the least noticeable seasonal change, with each country accounting for 25% of the total. Germany followed closely behind, with 26%.
In August of 2022, the EU recorded the highest number of nights stayed, which totaled 478 million or 18% of all nights. July followed closely with 440 million nights, accounting for 16% of all nights.
In contrast, with only 3% of the total nights spent, or 89 million, January had the lowest percentage, followed by February with 4%, or 111 million.
During the busy vacation months, visitors tend to stay longer, which is reflected in the increase in the number of nights stayed compared to the rise in arrivals. As a result, there is a higher demand for accommodations in the summer months at the tourist destinations.
Seasonality has always significantly influenced tourism, as seen by patterns of arrivals and the number of nights spent in EU tourist accommodations. As a result, tourist destinations may experience overcrowding and resource stress during the busiest travel seasons. Conversely, according to Eurostat, quieter times may result in underutilized resources and job insecurity because of varying demands.