Romania was among the least sought-after touristic destinations in the European Union in 2015, next to much smaller countries such as Slovakia, Latvia and Luxembourg, according to the latest tourism statistics provided by the Eurostat on Tuesday.
Non-residents, meaning foreign tourists, spent only five million nights in the Romanian accommodation establishments in 2015, a figure that is twice lower than the one registered in our neighbor countries, Bulgaria or Hungary, on the same year.
In 2015, Spain was the main tourist destination in the EU for non-residents (people coming from abroad) with 21.3 % of all nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in the EU.
Across the EU, the four most popular destinations for non-residents were Spain (270 million nights), Italy (193 million nights), France (130 million nights) and the United Kingdom (118 million nights), which together accounted for more than half (56.2 %) of total nights spent by non-residents in the EU.
The least common destinations were Romania, Luxembourg and Latvia.
In terms of economic importance of international tourism, in 2015 the ratio of travel receipts to GDP was highest, among the EU Member States, in Croatia (18.1 %), Malta (13.4 %) and Cyprus (12.7 %), confirming the importance of tourism to these countries. In absolute terms, the highest international travel receipts in 2015 were recorded in Spain (EUR 50.9 billion), France (EUR 41.4 billion) and the United Kingdom (41.1 billion), followed by Italy (35.6 billion) and Germany (33.3 billion).
Germany recorded the highest level of expenditure on international travel, totalling EUR 69.9 billion in 2015, followed by the United Kingdom (EUR 57.2 billion) and France (EUR 34.6 billion).
Spain was the EU Member State with the highest level of net receipts from travel in 2015 (EUR 35.2 billion), while Germany recorded the biggest deficit (EUR -36.6 billion).
When taking into account a country’s size in terms of its population, residents of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece spent, on average, less than one night abroad in 2015, while Luxembourg was the EU Member State whose residents spent the most nights abroad per inhabitant (an average of 23.2 nights in 2015), followed by Cyprus (18.1 nights).