In 2011, the number of nights spent in hotels and similar establishments in the 27 European Union member states reached a record high number of 1.6 billion, rising by 3.8 percent from 2010, and Croatia saw a rise of 5.9 percent, the Union's statistics office, Eurostat reported this past Tuesday.
"The evolution of the number of nights spent in hotels in the EU27 showed alternating phases of growth and decline over the last decade. After a low point in 2003, the number of nights spent grew steadily for four successive years. In 2008 and 2009, the number of nights spent in the EU27 fell, but in 2010 began to recover from the crisis to reach a new record in 2011 for both nights spent by residents and by non-residents," the European Commission reported, citing figures registered by the Eurostat.
The statistics were presented for all EU member states, except Ireland, Greece and Luxembourg, and also for Croatia, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Spain reported the highest number of nights spent in hotels and similar establishments, (288 million), followed by Italy (249 million), Germany (241 million), France (202 million and Great Britain (166 million). These five member states accounted for 70% of the total number of hotel nights spent in the EU27. All except Italy, which reported a decline, saw a rise on the year.
In Croatia there were 20.5 million overnight stays in hotels. Non-residents accounted for 18.1 million overnight stays (88 %), and local guests made 2.4 million overnight stays. The number of hotel nights spent by non-residents grew by 6.2% between 2010 and 2011 and nights spent by residents increased by 3.4%.
As for the EU, the largest increases in the number of nights spent in hotels were recorded in eastern European countries: Lithuania (19.8%), Bulgaria (18.3%), Estonia (14.6%), Latvia (14.1%) and Romania (12.9%), and the smallest increase was in the United Kingdom (0.5%), Austria (0.6%) and Malta (0.7%).
In the 27-strong bloc, non-residents accounted for 47% of the total number of nights spent in hotels compared with 53% for residents in 2011. (Hina)