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Domestic tourism in European countries - statistics & Facts

Domestic tourism involves residents of a certain country traveling solely within that country. In Europe, domestic tourism is a significant part of the European travel and tourism industry, along with international incoming tourism. Travel and tourism spending in European countries can be broken down into domestic spending and international visitor spending. Domestic spending by far dominated the distribution of travel and tourism spending in Europe in 2020, with nearly three-quarters of all travel spending coming from domestic tourists alone. That being said, the overall domestic tourism expenditure in Europe dropped significantly in that same year after a period of steady growth, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Domestic tourism in European countries

Within the European tourism market, some countries spend more on domestic travel than others. In 2019, Germany and France were by far the European countries with the highest expenditure on domestic trips, each spending over 50 billion euros. Spain spent about half of that amount, while domestic travel spending in all other European countries was less than 20 billion euros that year.

The ratio of domestic and international Airbnb guests in France has increasingly favored domestic travelers since November 2019, with the pandemic giving a further boost to this trend in 2020. As of May 2020, nearly 90 percent of French Airbnb guests were domestic tourists. In Germany, the leading European country for domestic tourism, the total number of overnight stays by German tourists dropped in 2020 for both international and domestic trips, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, domestic tourism in general was less impacted by the pandemic than international tourism.

Domestic tourism in Europe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, global travel was severely restricted to slow the spread of the virus. Many tourists were only able to travel domestically, and often not at all. As travel options began to open up in 2021, most European travelers intended to travel to another European country rather than outside of Europe, but a significant amount was also still planning to travel domestically. In this respect as of February 2021, a majority of European travelers across all age groups stated that they would likely be taking an overnight trip domestically or within Europe in the next six months. While most of these European travelers identified as city life enthusiasts, business travelers made up the smallest portion of those surveyed.

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