Spain top in EU for nights spent in hotels

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MORE nights were spent in Spanish hotels last year than anywhere else in Europe, and that’s official. Despite the tough economic climate, Spain registered an 8 per cent increase on overnight hotel stays in 2011 against the previous year, reaching 288 million.

The total nights spent in hotels across the EU last year was 1.6 billion. This was revealed in a new report compiled by EU statistics office Eurostat.

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In second place, with 249 million nights was Italy, which saw a slight drop against the previous year. Italy was followed by Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, with these top five national accounting for 70 per cent of the total number of hotel nights spent in the EU last year.

In 2011 non-residents accounted for almost half of the total number of nights spent in hotels in the EU. Spain again topped this list with 177 million overnight stays by non-residents in 2011, almost 15 per cent more than the year before.

Overnight stays increased in all EU countries except Italy, with the biggest rise seen in Lithuania, with almost 20 per cent more than the previous year.

Meanwhile, latest estimates by the Statistics Institute, INE, show that half of hotel stays in Spain occurred in the summer, between June and September.

More than 70 per cent of the total overnight hotel stays last year were spent in the Spanish holiday resorts of the Canaries, Balearics, and the Valencia, Andalucia, and Cataluña regions.

The average rate of hotel occupation in Spain during 2011 was 53.6 per cent, a 4.9 per cent increase on the previous year.

British and German tourists accounted for 26.9 and 24.1 per cent of the total number of of foreigners staying in Spanish hotels last year.

Photo credit: Tomas Fano
By John Jackson 

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