Last year, Spain was the country in the EU that registered the most overnight stays in hotel establishments, with 454 million nights, 7.8% more than in the previous year. These figures were published by the EU statistical office, Eurostat.
It is the second consecutive year that Spain has been the leader in this statistic, which includes overnight hotel stays for leisure and work.
Spain is ahead of France, Italy and Germany, with the first two having 395 million overnight stays and the third one 390 million. In absolute numbers, Spain was also the leader in overnight stays by foreigners in hotel establishments, registering a total of 294 million nights, which is equivalent to 22% of all the nights that non-residents (i.e. EU tourists traveling to another Member State and non-EU visitors) spent at EU hotels.
In all of the twenty-eight EU Member States, the total overnight hotel stays reached 2.85 billion in 2016, an increase of 2% over the previous year. This is mainly due to the number of non-residents, which increased by 3.6% compared to a 0.6% increase in residents. This figure has grown in almost all Member States for which Eurostat has data available. The largest increases were seen in Bulgaria (17.9%) and Slovakia (16%).
In contrast, the most significant declines compared to 2015 were recorded in France, where they fell by 4.6%, and in the United Kingdom, with 4.5%, probably affected by the recent terrorist attacks and Brexit respectively.
The highest percentages of non-resident overnight stays were reported in the Mediterranean islands of Malta (96%) and Cyprus (95%), followed by Croatia (93%) and Greece (79%), while the lowest were recorded in Romania (19%) and Germany (20%).