Commission (Eurostat) publishes first statistics on short-stay accommodation booked through collaborative economy platforms – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology

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This article is presented to you in association with the European Commission.

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, today released the first key data on short-stay accommodation booked through four private platforms active in the tourism sector. This is the result of the month of March 2020 historic agreement between the Commission and Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and Tripadvisor, which have started a collaboration between these platforms and Eurostat.

The data published today is a first step and will be regularly updated by Eurostat. In particular, they cover national, regional and municipal data on the number of stays booked and the number of nights spent in accommodation booked via these four platforms. This information (i) will contribute to more comprehensive statistics on tourist accommodation in Europe, (ii) will enable public authorities to better understand the development of the collaborative economy (in particular, short-term accommodation rental services) and (iii) support sound political evidence.

Prior to today’s release, official European statistics provided only limited coverage of this part of the short-stay accommodation sector, as data on rentals of holiday homes, apartments and rooms in otherwise private buildings often fall outside the scope of existing tourist registers and surveys. The figures released today are an important step towards closing this gap. They cover accommodation booked through Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and Tripadvisor in 2018 and 2019, providing valuable insight into the importance of the collaborative economy for the tourism industry before the COVID pandemic.

The Commission intends to publish further data on short-term rental housing rentals provided by these platforms for 2020 during the year. These will provide useful inputs to policy makers and feed into the process. co-create a transition path for a more sustainable, innovative and resilient tourism ecosystem.

Commissioner Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy, said: “This fruitful collaboration between Eurostat and the four main short-term rental housing platforms is a model for providing more complete and reliable statistics through access to private data. The figures released today are an important source of information for European public authorities and can contribute to better policymaking, while protecting personal information.

Commissioner Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said:The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the tourism industry, a key sector of the EU economy. Like other European industries, the future of tourism will depend on our collective ability to transition to a greener, more digital and more resilient future. By 2030, Europe should be a quality destination known worldwide for its sustainable offer and attracting responsible and environmentally conscious travelers. Comprehensive data on short-term rental housing released today will help public authorities develop evidence-based policies. “

Main conclusions

  • In 2019 (the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the tourism industry hard), customers spent more than 554 million nights in accommodation booked through Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group or Tripadvisor in the EU. This means that, on average, per day, around 1.5 million customers slept in a bed reserved through one of these four platforms. The number of nights spent in short-term accommodation booked through the four platforms increased by 14% between 2018 and 2019.
  • The main urban destinations for reservations via one of the four platforms were: (i) the Parisian agglomerations (15.1 million overnight stays); (ii) Barcelona (11.3 million); (iii) Rome (10.4 million); (iv) Lisbon (10.5 million); and, (v) Madrid (8.3 million).
  • The five most popular destination countries for stays booked through the four private platforms were: (i) Spain (112 million overnight stays); (ii) France (109 million); (iii) Italy (83 million overnight stays); (iv) Germany (40 million); and (v) Portugal (33 million). The 20 most popular regions in the EU account for almost half (48%) of the total number of nights booked through the four platforms. Most of these top 20 regions are located in Spain (six regions), France or Italy (five respectively), while two regions are in Portugal, one in Croatia and one in Hungary. In the three most popular regions, customers booked more than 20 million overnight stays in 2019: Andalusia (26 million), Adriatic Croatia (25 million) and Catalonia (21 million). In 2019, these three regions accounted for 13% of the total nights spent in the EU that were booked through the four platforms. The regional breakdown is available on the map below.

The full version package, which is available here, includes a detailed article on “Statistics Explained”Platform and the tables covering data from more than 200 European cities and all regions (defined at NUTS3 level[1]), but also analyzes the customer’s country of origin and the seasonality of the number of reservations and overnight stays.



The collaborative economy covers a wide variety of sectors and is growing rapidly across Europe. In the tourism sector, the collaborative economy offers many interesting opportunities for citizens as consumers, as well as for micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs. At the same time, its rapid development has brought challenges, especially in popular tourist destinations. As a result, cities and other communities seek to strike a balance between promoting tourism, with the economic benefits it brings, and maintaining the integrity of local communities.

In order to promote a balanced development of the collaborative economy, the Commission published in 2016 Guidelines on how existing European rules apply to the collaborative economy. A series of workshops in 2017 and 2018 identified policy principles and best practices specifically on short-term collaborative hosting services.

In the short-term rental sector, the Commission is also working with cities across Europe to address issues that have arisen as a result of the rapid growth in collaborative short-term housing rentals and maintains an ongoing exchange with local regulators. These discussions, which will now also benefit from the statistics published today, focus on possible policy actions and good practices to be taken into consideration by public authorities and other stakeholders when putting in place policy measures in accordance with the right to the EU.

In March 2020, the Commission reached a landmark agreement with Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and Tripadvisor on data sharing. The agreement, signed between each platform and Eurostat (on behalf of the European Commission), allows Eurostat to obtain key data from the four collaborative platforms and to publish on its website experimental statistics on short-term housing rentals. concluded via these platforms. Among other data, the platforms have agreed to share, on an ongoing basis, the figures on the number of nights booked and the number of guests.

The privacy of citizens, including guests and hosts, is protected in accordance with applicable European law and the data will not allow individual citizens or owners to be identified. The data provided by the four platforms are then subjected to statistical validation and aggregated by Eurostat. Eurostat publishes data for all Member States as well as for many individual regions and cities by combining the information obtained from the platforms.

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