What are the most popular travel destinations in Europe?When breaking down the number of international tourist arrivals in Europe by region, Southern/Mediterranean Europe emerged as the leading market for inbound tourism, both before and after the impact of COVID-19. Thus, it comes as no surprise that destinations bordering the Mediterranean Sea ranked as the countries with the highest number of inbound tourist arrivals in Europe in 2022. That year, France topped the list with around 79 million arrivals, followed by Spain, Turkey, and Italy. On the other hand, Spain was the European country with the highest international tourism receipts in 2022, ahead of the United Kingdom, whereas France came third in this case.
Travel planning and behavior of European touristsAccording to a May 2023 survey, nearly six in ten surveyed European travelers were planning a trip abroad within Europe over the following six months. Meanwhile, around a quarter of the sample favored domestic travel. Focusing on Europeans planning leisure trips, either domestically or within Europe, sun and beach holidays were the preferred type of vacation as of May 2023, followed by cultural trips and city breaks.
Overall, the share of European travelers expressing their intention to take a trip domestically or in Europe in the next six months declined from December 2022 to May 2023, with slightly less than 70 percent of respondents intending to likely or very likely plan an overnight trip as of the latter month. The decreased intention to travel might be due to a series of factors, such as the rise in the overall cost of trips due to the impact of inflation on travel and tourism, which ranked as the main concern of Europeans about traveling in Europe as of May 2023.