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As common as European tourists seem in the world’s most dazzling cosmopolitan cities and on the sunniest beaches, it turns out more than half of them vacation in their own country.
Research from Eurostat, the European Commission’s tourism data arm, found 59% of European Union (EU) citizens’ hotel room nights spent on vacation last year were in their own countries and 26% of EU tourist room nights were in another EU member state. U.S. and Russian travelers were also some of the largest factions of visitors to the EU last year and several Eastern European countries outpaced their Western European neighbors in terms of market share of room nights spent in those countries by non-EU visitors.
The charts below consider some of the world’s largest outbound traveler markets such as China, Brazil, Russia, Japan and the U.S. as well as all outbound markets.
Chart 1: Last year U.S. and Russian travelers were the main visitors from outside the EU.
Chart 2: Italy was the most visited destination of non-EU visitors last year, accounting for 17.5% of all nights spent in the EU. Following Italy were the U.K. (13.9%), Spain (13.5%) and France (12.2%).
Chart 3: Cyprus and some Eastern European countries were particularly popular for tourists from outside the EU.
Chart 4: The smaller number of tourists from China, Japan and Brazil were overshadowed by those visiting from the U.S. and Russia last year.
Chart 5: The U.K. and Estonia are the top countries of origin for EU tourists traveling outside the EU and the U.S. and Turkey account for about 25% of room nights EU tourists spend outside the EU.
Chart 6: EU tourists mostly travel in their own country or within the EU with only tiny fractions venturing to Asia, Africa or the Americas.