In 2022, the EU received 45.8% of all international tourism arrivals in the world, despite representing 3.0% of the world's land area and 5.6% of the world's population, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shared by Eurostat on the occasion of World Tourism Day (27 September).
According to this data, the top 10 destination countries worldwide in 2022 included six EU members (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece and Austria).
Eurostat data indicates that foreign tourists from the EU and extra-EU countries represented 43.0% of all nights spent in EU tourist accommodations in 2022. In 11 out of the 27 EU countries, the dominant flow consisted of foreign tourists.
Cyprus was one of three EU countries in which international tourists (from the EU and extra-EU countries) accounted for more than 90% of the tourism nights spent. This percentage stood at 91%, followed by Malta (92%) and Croatia (91%).
In Luxembourg and Greece, the foreign market accounted for 86% and 84% of tourism nights respectively. In Austria, Slovenia, Portugal and Spain this was between 60% and 70%.
In absolute terms, the highest numbers of international (EU and non-EU countries) tourism nights were recorded in Spain (270 million nights) and Italy (201 million nights), jointly accounting for 40% of all international tourism nights spent at accommodation establishments in the EU.
EU domestic travelers (traveling within their own country of residence) accounted for 57% of all nights spent in EU tourist accommodations in 2022. Eurostat points out that while international tourism is a positive element for every country, a high foreign dependency can also make a destination more vulnerable in case of an external shock affecting international mobility.