Andrew J. Wein - Jan 17, 2011

Most countries have one high season and that is usually in summer, during which time the number of overnight stays reaches its peak. However, according to recent news Austria has two tourism high seasons, summer and winter.


The EU countries have high season, usually in the third quarter of the year, in summer, as July, August and September are the months with the highest rate of overnight stays in the year. In 2009, 43% out of 2.2 billion overnight stays were recorded in July, August and September, followed by the second quarter with 26%. The first quarter with 15% and the fourth quarter with 16% were regarded as low seasons.

As reported, Austria is the only one among the 27 EU countries that has two tourism high seasons. According to Eurostat, the number of overnight stays in Austria in the first quarter of 2009 (32%) was approximately equal to the number in the third quarter (33%).

In 2009, the peak of the season in Nordic countries was reached in July. Such trend was especially noticeable in Denmark (24% of all overnight stays), Sweden (22%), Estonia (16%) and Finland (15). The southern countries reached the top of the season in August: for example in France 23% of all overnight stays took place in August, 22% in Greece and Italy, 18% in Portugal. In the remaining countries, the numbers of overnight stays show no major differences.

In most EU countries, the number of overnight stays starts increasing in May, and reaches its peak in July or August, after that the number declines steadily. However, some EU states show a different pattern: Cyprus for example has a prolonged high season starting in May (10% of overnight stays) and ending in October (11%). Similar pattern can be observed in Germany or Malta.

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