Nights spent in Greek hotels fell 2.3 pct last year compared with 2009, Eurostat said on Monday. The EU executive’s statistics service, in a report published here, said nights spent in the EU 27 grew 2.8 pct last year, after two years of declines.

The report attributed the decline in hotel nights spent in Greece to lower demand by Greek residents (-10.8 pct), while demand by foreign tourists grew 0.8 pct. In 2010, 62.7 million nights spent in hotels, of which 16.4 million by Greek residents and 46.3 million by foreign residents. The biggest percentage decline in nights spent was recorded in January-April (-2.3 pct), followed by the May-August period (-1.8 pct) and the September-December period (-2.1 pct).

In 2010, 1.6 billion nights were spent in hotels and similar establishments in the EU27, an increase of 2.8% compared with 2009, after two successive annual declines of 0.3% in 2008 and 3.7% in 2009. In the EU27, the number of hotel nights spent by residents in their own country rose by 1.1% and hotel nights spent by non-residents grew by 5.1% in 2010. After the decrease in the number of hotel nights spent in the EU27 which began in the middle of 2008, peaked in January-April 2009 and then slowed down during the rest of 2009, there were first signs of a developing recovery in 2010. The number of hotel nights increased at an annual rate of 1.7% in January-April 2010 (compared with the same period of the previous year), of 2.6% in May-August and of 5.1% in September-December.

These estimates, which include nights spent whether for business or leisure, come from a publication2 from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Highest increase in number of hotel nights in the Baltic countries and Malta

Among the Member States, the highest numbers of nights spent in hotels in 2010 were recorded in Spain (268 million nights, +6.4% compared with 2009), Italy (245 mln, -0.8%), Germany (229 mln, +5.8%), France (196 mln,
+2.4%) and the United Kingdom (166 mln, -2.1%). These five countries accounted for more than 70% of the total number of hotel nights spent in the EU27.

The number of nights spent in hotels in 2010 increased in most Member States, except for Romania (-8.7%), Greece (-2.3%), the United Kingdom (-2.1%), Slovenia (-1.0%) and Italy (-0.8%). The largest increases were recorded in Estonia (+14.1%), Latvia (+11.6%), Lithuania (+11.1%) and Malta (+11.0%), and the smallest in Austria (+2.2%), France (+2.4%), Cyprus (+3.1%) and Hungary (+3.3%).

Number of hotel nights spent by non-residents highest in Spain and Italy

In 2010, non-residents accounted for 45% of the total number of nights spent in hotels in the EU27 compared with 55% for residents. Apart from the two Mediterranean islands, Malta (95%) and Cyprus (90%), the highest proportions of non-residents were registered in Estonia and Latvia (both 75%), Greece (74%), Austria (72%) and Bulgaria (70%). The lowest proportions of non-residents were recorded in Romania (18%), Germany (21%), Sweden (23%), Finland (27%) and Poland (30%).

In 2010, the number of nights spent in hotels by non-residents rose in all Member States, with the largest increases in Estonia (+16.9%), Denmark (+14.9%) and the Netherlands (+13.4%). The highest numbers of hotel nights spent by non-residents were registered in Spain (155 mln, +8.9% compared with 2009), Italy (109 mln, +2.4%), France (66 mln, +3.0%), the United Kingdom (59 mln, +0.1%) and Austria (59 mln, +1.5%).

The majority of Member States also recorded a growth in the number of hotel nights spent by residents in 2010, with the largest increases in Poland (+11.8%), Latvia (+11.7%), Lithuania (+10.5%) and Belgium (+10.4%). The highest numbers of nights spent by residents in hotels were observed in Germany (180 mln, +4.3% compared with 2009), Italy (135 mln, -3.2%), France (130 mln, +2.1%), Spain (113 mln, +3.1%) and the United Kingdom (107 mln, -3.4%).