(28 September 2015) – In the European Union, tourism is above all an internal affair. Nearly 90% of tourism nights are spent by EU residents, meaning that tourists from outside the EU account for only around 10% of the total. And when travelling, EU residents spent almost 85% of their tourism nights within the Union, with only just over 15% in extra-EU destinations.
Nevertheless, more than 300 million nights were spent in the EU by non-EU visitors in tourist accommodation in 2014. With 17.8% and 14.9% respectively of all nights spent by non-EU tourists in the EU in 2014, tourists from the United States and Russia were the main visitors from outside the EU, while those from China (5.0%), Japan (3.7%) and Brazil (2.5%) each represented less than 5% of nights spent by non-EU tourists.
Over the past decade, the EU has grown as a tourist destination. Compared with 2005, extra-EU tourism in the EU increased by 75% in 2014, particularly driven by a boom in the number of nights spent by tourists from China (+282%), Russia (+248%) and Brazil (+215%), while the growth has been more moderate for tourists from the United States (+13%) and a decrease was registered for those from Japan (-11%).
In the opposite direction, the United States (14.1% of all tourism nights spent outside the EU), Turkey (11.6%) and Switzerland (4.9%) were the top 3 extra-EU tourism destinations of EU residents in 2014.