EU tourism has recovered. The hottest summer of the century has brought the near recovery of tourism in Europe, with 1,223 million overnight stays across the continent, only 1.7% less than in the same period of 2019, according to the European statistical agency Eurostat.
Once again, France was the country that attracted the most tourists. The Eiffel Tower, the Côte d'Azur, and the Loire route seduced travelers from all over the world, with 212 million tourist overnight stays. Moreover, the country did exceed the pre-pandemic figures, with an increase of 0.5% compared to the summer months of 2019.
Alongside France, twelve countries in the Old Continent exceeded the pre-Covid-19 tourism figures, led by Serbia, which posted a 19.2% rise over the period; Iceland, with a 16.9% increase in tourism; and Liechtenstein, where the number of travelers rose by 15.8%. In contrast, Slovakia was the hardest hit, with a 22.9% drop in tourism, followed by Latvia (22.6%) and North Macedonia (18.9%).
Spain, despite being the country with the third highest number of visitors, fell just short of pre-pandemic figures, with 184.9 million tourist overnight stays this summer, 0.3% less than in the summer months of 2019, when it recorded 185.5 million overnight stays.
Along with France and Spain, the podium of countries with the most tourism is completed by Italy, with 200 million overnight stays. The transalpine country recorded thirteen million fewer overnight stays this summer than in 2019, a decrease of 6.2%.
Outside the podium are Germany, with 149 million tourist overnight stays, 1.5% less than in 2019; Greece, with 77 million and a decrease of 5.5%, and the Netherlands, which received 50.8 million overnight guests during the period, 5.2% more than in the summer of three years ago. The United Kingdom, Ireland, Croatia, Switzerland and Turkey did not report sufficient data to compile the statistics.
With the summer over, the continued hot weather has meant that tourist numbers have not declined with the arrival of September. In the ninth month of the year, Spain topped the list of countries with the highest number of tourist overnight stays, with a total of 48.7 million; followed by Italy, with 45.6 million; and Germany, with 42.5 million. According to experts, EU tourism is on the right track to full recovery.