The European Union’s (EU) domestic tourism has recovered faster than foreign tourism after most countries started easing their Covid-19 restrictions by June, official figures have revealed.
In a report on Friday, the EU’s statistical office Eurostat said during the early part of 2020, the tourism industry suffered as a result of travel restrictions implemented in response to the pandemic.
Tourist numbers dropped sharply during March and April 2020, when compared with the same period a year earlier.
Since June 2020, most EU countries have begun to ease travel restrictions.
However, other restrictions related to Covid-19 have remained in place, such as tourists having to quarantine on return from some foreign destinations.
These have prompted a preference for domestic tourism, which has recovered more quickly than incoming tourism.
After a drop of 93 per cent in April 2020 compared with the same month of the previous year, by July 2020, domestic tourism in the EU almost returned to the level of the previous year.
In July 2020, nights spent by EU residents in tourist accommodation inside their own country were only 22 per cent lower than in July 2019, while nights spent by non-residents were 64 per cent less than the previous year.
According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the EU saw 66 per cent less international tourist arrivals year-on-year in the first half of 2020.
Although the EU interior borders were reopened in the summer to spur the EU-wide tourist industry with precautionary measures taken, the exterior borders have remained been closed to the world.