Germany tops EU outbound travel statistics

According to Eurostat, the official statistics bureau of the European Union, EU-28 residents spent an estimated 2.5 billion nights abroad on tourism trips in 2015 (latest gures still to hand end 2017 as compilation is very lengthy).

German residents spent 700 million nights on trips outside of Germany in 2015, while residents of the United Kingdom spent 564 million nights abroad (UK data are for 2013); residents from these two EU Member States accounted for more than half (50.7 %) of the total number of nights spent abroad by EU-28 residents.

When taking into account a country’s size in terms of its population, 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). At the other end of the spectrum, residents of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece spent, on average, less than one night abroad in 2015.

Germany recorded the highest level of expenditure on international travel, totalling EUR 69.9 billion in 2015, followed by the United Kingdom (€57.2bn) and France (€34.6bn).

Preliminary data from the UNWTO on international tourism expenditure for the first part of 2017 reflect an increasing demand from major source markets, consistent with the robust 6% growth in international arrivals.

The world’s third largest source market, Germany saw an increase in outgoing tourism expenditure of 3% through June, according the UNWTO. The United Kingdom (4th largest) reported 8% growth in spending in the first quarter of the year. Tourism spending from France (5th largest) increased 11% in the first half of 2017.

Growth in spending rebounded remarkably in the Russian Federation (+26%) after some years of declines. The recovery of the Russian Federation is expected to have fuelled arrival growth to its main destinations markets, such as Turkey and Egypt.

Furthermore, double-digit growth in spending this first half of 2017 was also reported in Spain (+17%), Portugal (+13) and Ireland (+11%). Other markets that showed robust demand for outbound travel this period were Ukraine (+9%), the Czech Republic (both +8%), and Austria (both +7%).


European outbound air travel grew by 9% in May-August 2017 (after 6% in January- April), with stronger growth in departures to destinations within the region (+10%) than to other regions (+6%). In May-August interregional air travel from Europe increased most to Africa and the Middle East (+10%) and to Asia and the Pacific (+8%), more than travel to the Americas (+3%). Bookings for international flights in September- December 2017 are up 8% compared to the same period last year, with remarkable growth in reservations for intraregional travel (+11%). To other regions (+6%) growth is strongest to Africa & the Middle East (+11%).