Skift Take

2023 was a solid year of growth for tourism to Europe. It's finally bouncing back from the pandemic.

Cyprus, Malta, Albania, and other underrated destinations had some of the highest tourism growth rates in Europe last year, according to Eurostat’s latest data

Europe saw over 2.6 billion tourist night stays at hotels and alternative accommodations between January and October. International tourism was a component of that, rising 12.5%.

Below are the destinations with the highest growth rates in the first 10 months of 2023.

CountryTourist Night Stay Growth
Source: Eurostat. Data covers January to October 2023.

Europe’s Strong Year in Tourism

Eurostat estimates tourists spent a record 2.9 billion nights at hotels and alternative accommodations in 2023. That was 1.6% higher than 2.87 billion nights in 2019.

The UN World Tourism Organization has cited American demand as a contributing factor to Europe’s post-pandemic tourism recovery. Last year, Americans traveled to Europe in droves so much that U.S. domestic tourism growth started to level off.

“I was in Rome, Venice, Dubrovnik, sure as heck felt like 2019,” said Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton at the Skift Global Forum in September.

Hidden Gems Win Tourists

To escape Europe’s busiest destinations, some tour operators are expanding their trips to lesser-known destinations like Albania and Montenegro, both of which saw some of the strongest tourism growth rates.

“We think Montenegro is exciting. We think Albania is a very interesting place at the moment where people can have great experiences, get a bit off the beaten track, see a new way of life and get that dispersion away from those peak sites,” said Thornton.

Cyprus has also benefited even though Russian tourists have moved on.


The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: europe, tourism

Up Next

Loading next stories