In December 2022, EU residents took approximately 92 million tourism journeys, making up 8.6 percent of the total trips made at that time. According to the EU Agency of Statistics, Eurostat, 73 million of these trips were domestic, accounting for nine percent of overall domestic trips in 2022. This left 19 million journeys abroad, representing 7.1 percent of total foreign trips that year.
Eurostat also revealed that the long-standing tradition of domestic travel during the winter holidays and Christmas season resulted in a marked increase in trips during the typically less active winter months. In December 2023, the number of domestic trips was almost four times the number of trips abroad, deviating significantly from the average ratio observed in other months.
The increase in domestic trips during the end-of-year period can be attributed to people visiting friends and relatives. This was reported as the purpose for more than half of the domestic trips in December. This was a significant deviation from the purpose reported for domestic trips in other months of the year.
Analyzing national data, Eurostat also revealed that Romanian residents were particularly notable in 2022, with most of their travels concentrated in December at a significant 17.1 percent, followed by residents of Bulgaria at 12.5 percent and Malta at 11.8 percent. However, December accounted for a comparatively lower percentage of total trips made by residents of Greece, Lithuania, and Sweden.
Looking ahead, a decrease in domestic spending in the tourism sector in Europe is expected over the next decade, according to Statista. It also pointed out that the United States will continue to hold the highest percentage of domestic spending as a share of total tourism revenue, while both the EU and the MENA region are expected to witness changes in this dynamic.
Specifically, MENA countries experienced domestic spending accounting for just over 20 percent of total tourism receipts in 2020, a figure that escalated to 25 percent in 2022. However, forecasts suggest a decline to 20 percent by 2025 and a further decline to 18 percent by 2032.
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