Online accommodation platforms received 34% more bookings than in 2021

The number of nights booked for tourism through accommodation rental platforms such as Airbnb, Expedia Group, Tripadvisor and Booking increased by 34% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

According to the European Statistical Office, Eurostat, the recovery rate remains below pre-pandemic levels of 29%, when 512 million tourist nights were booked, reports.

Moreover, annual overnight stays in the EU changed for these platforms, from 442 million in 2018 to 512 million the following year, marking an increase of 15.8%. However, these rates have dropped in 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are in place and restrict movement. This means that these numbers have dropped by 46.9% in 2020.

The second wave of the pandemic, at the end of 2020, had a serious impact on the number of reservations at the start of 2021, with 59.7% fewer nights spent in January 2021 than in January 2019.

In the summer of 2021, due to eased travel restrictions, the number of nights spent in short-term accommodation improved significantly and almost reached pre-pandemic levels. In July and August, the two most popular months for tourism, 73.7 and 88.4 million overnight stays were recorded in short-stay accommodation structures, representing 85.9% and 91.2% of highest values ​​for these same months in 2019.

Bookings remained high through the following fall and winter seasons and were close to 2019 levels through the end of the year. This means that around 90 million overnight stays from 2020 to 2021 can be reached in the second half of the year.

Large cities and Mediterranean destinations had the biggest problems, along with winter destinations, which remained furthest from 2019 levels. Regions with less than one million overnight stays in 2019 are:

  • Prague (-81.9%)
  • Eastern and Midland in Ireland (-76.2%)
  • Budapest (72.9%)
  • Vienna (66.3%)
  • Lazio in Italy (64.8%)

The coastal region of Catalonia in Spain is the third most popular region in 2019, with more than 20 million overnight stays, far behind the number of overnight stays booked in 2019. This shows a drop of 48.5%, which represents 10, 7 million.

In addition, several regions in countries such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Poland and Romania exceeded their nights spent in 2019, while many others are heading there. The best performing European regions since 2019, with at least one million overnight stays in 2019, are all rural regions of France.

According to city destinations, the majority of them did not even reach half of 2019 levels in 2021, with Prague (18.1%), Budapest (27.1%) and Rome (30.5%) being most in difficulty.

The only cities that managed to receive more travelers than in 2019 are Orléans in France (55.3%), Ostend in Belgium (49.6%) and Lugano in Switzerland (49.1%), with at least 100 000 overnight stays in 2019.

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