Romanians are the EU citizens who make the highest share of domestic trips, with 94 percent of their travels in 2017 having taken place within their country and only 6 percent taking them abroad, Eurostat data show. Second in the ranking by the share of domestic trips were Spanish citizens (91 percent), followed by the Portuguese (89 percent).
”The highest shares of trips of EU residents within their country (domestic trips) were observed in Romania (94 percent), Spain (91 percent), Portugal (89 percent), Greece (88 percent), France (87 percent) and Bulgaria (86 percent). On the other hand, the largest proportions of trips abroad (outbound trips) were registered for residents of Luxembourg (98 percent), Belgium (80 percent), Malta (68 percent) and Slovenia (62 percent),” Eurostat data show.
The average length of stay during a trip varied from ten nights for residents of Greece (9.9 nights), followed by residents of Luxembourg (7.1), Belgium and the Netherlands (both 6.5), to less than four nights for residents of Latvia and Estonia (both 3.3), Finland (3.4), Hungary (3.6), Denmark (3.8) and Romania (3.9).
1.3 billion trips made by EU residents
In 2017, EU residents made 1.3 billion trips with overnight stays that amounted to almost 6.4 billion nights. The average trip length was 5.1 nights. Compared with 2016, the number of tourism trips by EU residents increased by 4 percent.
Three quarters (73 percent) of all trips were spent within the country of residence (domestic trips), while one quarter (27 percent) were abroad (outbound trips), of which 21 percent to other EU countries and 6 percent to destinations outside the EU.
The most common means of transport for trips was private or rented motor vehicles (predominantly cars) (64 percent), followed by airplanes (17 percent), trains (11 percent), buses (6 percent) and water vessels (2 percent). Airplanes served as the main means of transport for over half of outbound trips (56 percent), while for domestic trips EU residents traveled mainly by motor vehicles (76 percent), followed by rail (13 percent).
Most of the travel by air was for personal reasons (82 percent), while the remaining 18 percent of air trips were for professional purposes.
Almost half of all trips (49 percent) were for holidays and leisure, 35 percent for visits to relatives and friends, 12 percent for business and 4 percent for other reasons.
Over half of all 6.4 billion overnight stays during tourism trips of EU residents in 2017 were spent in rented accommodation (55 percent). Hotels or similar accommodation providing services such as daily cleaning and bed-making came on top with 32 percent, while 6 percent were spent at campsites and the remaining 17 percent in other types of rented accommodation (e.g. rented holiday dwelling, apartment, youth hostel, mountain hut).
Romanians don’t really care for planes
Airplanes were the main means of travel for tourists from Malta (63 percent), far ahead of Cyprus (49 percent), Ireland (43 percent) and Luxembourg (42 percent), while in six countries – Romania (3 percent), Bulgaria (5 percent), Czechia (6 percent), Croatia and Slovenia (both 8 percent) the shares for air transport were below 10 percent.
Motor vehicles (private or rented cars) were the main means of transport for more two-thirds of all trips made in twelve countries, with the highest share for the residents of Slovenia (85 percent of trips), Portugal (80 percent), Czechia (79 percent), Spain and Bulgaria (both 77 percent). Cars were used for less than half of all trips in Luxembourg and Cyprus (both 48 percent) and Ireland (49 percent).
The highest use of trains for tourism trips was observed in France (15 percent) and Germany (14 percent). At the other end of the scale were Greece and Slovenia (both 1 percent), Bulgaria and Croatia (both 2 percent).
Waterways were the main means of transport for 37 percent of trips made by residents of Malta and 17 percent of trips by residents of Greece, while in Romania and Croatia (both 19 percent), Bulgaria (16 percent) and Estonia (15 percent) residents took buses for 15 percent and more of their trips.