Tourism in the European Union during the year of the Covid-19 pandemic fell by a staggering 61%, according to figures released on Friday by Eurostat, the European statistical agency.
The figures confirmed how tourism was among the sectors most affected by the pandemic due to travel restrictions as well as other precautionary measures taken by individual countries in response to outbreaks.
Eurostat said this drop was reflected in the number of nights spent in EU tourism accommodation establishments between April 2020 and March 2021. This translates into a drop of 1.7 billion from the 2.8 billion nights spent between April 2019 and March 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic.
Among the EU member-states with available data for the period under study, the highest decreases were recorded in Malta, where tourism dropped by a massive 80%; Spain, down by 78%; and Greece, down by 74%. Tourism shrank by 70% in Portugal and 66% in Hungary. Eurostat said data for Ireland, France and Cyprus were not available.
The pandemic also had an adverse effect on internal tourism, with the total nights spent by domestic tourists down by 45%. This was not the case in Malta and Slovenia, the only two EU countries where internal tourism increased by 20% and 25% respectively in the year under review. [Xinhua]