Europe: Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union [EU], has revealed how regional data for 2022 on guest nights spent in short-term rental accommodation booked via Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group or TripAdvisor shows that the overall growth of platform tourism since pre-pandemic times is spread unevenly across Europe.
Rural areas in countries such as Poland, France or Sweden showed high growth rates in Q1 according to Eurostat, while city destinations such as Berlin, Prague or Vienna still lag behind the 2019 values.
In 2022, the total EU guest nights grew by around seven per cent from 512 million in 2019 to 547 million in 2022, but the total growth masks widely diverging results at the regional level. Data from 2019 has been used as a comparison in order to establish a pre-pandemic baseline.
The update relates to regional and city level data for 2022 and national and EU level data for the first quarter of 2023.
The data on short stay accommodation offered via Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor is the result of a landmark data-sharing partnership between the European Commission and the four private collaborative economy platforms that was agreed in March 2020. Eurostat released its first key data on the European short-term rental sector in July 2021.
Rural areas grow fast while urban destinations fall behind
According to the data, growth rates in EU regions [regions with at least one million guest nights in 2022] ranged between -52 per cent for Prague and +93 per cent for Franche-Comté. Out of the ten regions with the highest growth rates, nine were rural regions in France, while other high-growth areas were in Poland, Germany, and Sweden.
On the other hand, the regions with the most severe losses compared with 2019 included Prague [-52 per cent], Berlin [-39 per cent], Budapest [-34 per cent] and Vienna [-25 per cent].
Looking at the absolute values, out of the top 20 most popular regions in Europe, six were in Spain and France, five in Italy, two in Portugal and one [number one in the list] in Croatia. With the exception of urban regions such as Paris and Madrid, the regions are all coastal areas along the Mediterranean or Atlantic coasts.
Guest nights in Q1 2023 exceed previous records
In the first quarter of 2023, guest nights at EU level exceeded the previously highest levels [2020 for January and February; 2022 for March] in all three months.
So far, in 2023, 83.9 million guest nights have been spent in short-term accommodation booked via one of the four platforms, compared to 67.3 million during the first quarter of 2022. Most nights were spent in France [22 million], Spain [18.2 million] and Italy [9.7 million].