Every day in Europe, around 1,5 million guests sleep in a bed booked on one of four booking platforms.
Recently, data from Airbnb, Booking, Expedia and Tripadvisor on short-stay accommodation offered through these platforms in the EU were published for the first time.
This is the result of the European Commission's long-standing "struggle" with global booking sites on data exchange, which allows Eurostat to collect all relevant data on short-stay accommodation throughout the EU.
The agreement, signed in March 2020, for the first time provides access to reliable data on holidays and other short-stay accommodation offered through these platforms for the common economy and will contribute to clearer, more complete statistics on tourist accommodation across Europe.
So far, the whole market has been in the "dark", at least in terms of concrete figures and statistics. We all know how great the economic impact of tourism, ie booking portals, is on local economies, but so far no one has had concrete figures. Now, this data will allow public authorities to better understand the development of the sharing economy, so that they can develop policies based on concrete figures and evidence. Namely, before the publication of the data, European official statistics provided only a limited coverage of this part of the short-stay accommodation sector, as data on renting holiday homes, apartments and rooms in otherwise private buildings are often beyond the scope of existing tourist registers and research.
A survey conducted by Eurostat in 2019 showed that 21% of EU citizens used a website or application to arrange accommodation from another person, and 8% did the same for transport services. In the tourism sector, the sharing economy provides many economic opportunities to citizens as consumers, as well as micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises.
At the same time, its rapid development has led to new challenges, especially in popular tourist destinations. As a result, cities seek to strike a balance between promoting tourism, with the economic benefits it brings, and preserving the integrity of local communities.
In particular, the data include data at national, regional and city level on the number of stays booked and the number of nights spent in accommodation booked through these four platforms, and will be regularly updated by Eurostat.
In 2019, guests spent more than 554 million overnight stays in accommodation booked via four platforms
The data covers accommodation booked through Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and Tripadvisor in 2018 and 2019, offering valuable insights into the importance of the sharing economy for the tourism sector before the COVID pandemic.
In 2019 (the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the tourism sector hard), guests spent more than 554 million overnight stays in accommodation booked via Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group or Tripadvisor in the EU. That means it’s on average about 1,5 million guests every day slept in a bed reserved on one of these four platforms.
It is also interesting to note that the number of overnight stays spent in short-term accommodation booked through four platforms increased by 14% between 2018 and 2019.
The most popular urban destinations for bookings via one of the four platforms were: Paris (15,1 million overnight stays); Barcelona (11,3 million); Rome (10,4 million); Lisbon (10,5 million); and Madrid (8,3 million). Five most popular countries for stays booked through four private platforms were: Spain (112 million overnight stays); France (109 million); Italy (83 million overnight stays); Germany (40 million); and Portugal (33 million).
The 20 most popular regions in the EU account for almost half (48%) of the total number of overnight stays booked through four platforms. Most of these top 20 regions are located in Spain (six regions), France or Italy (five respectively), while two regions are in Portugal, one in Croatia and one in Hungary.
In the three most popular regions, guests booked more than 2019 million overnight stays in 20: Andalusia (26 million), Adriatic Croatia (25 million) and Catalonia (21 million). In 2019, these three regions accounted for 13% of the total number of overnight stays spent in the EU booked through four platforms.
You can find the regional division on the map below.
CROATIA: In 2019, across four platforms; Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group or Tripadvisor, has been realized 25.945.000 overnight stays in Croatia.
U 2018 across four platforms; Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group or Tripadvisor, has been realized 23.280.000 overnight stays in Croatia, of which 993.00 are domestic and 22.287.000 foreign tourists.
As the above data show, the growth of provisions in 2019 through these platforms, the same growth is seen in the case of Croatia. Thus, in 2019, over 2.5 million more tourists visited Croatia than the year before.
Otherwise, overall (foreign and domestic) number of arrivals in 2019 amounted to for 20.691.621 (growth of 4,9%), while also recorded 108.643.554 overnight stays (growth of 2,4%).
The data, the ratio of tourists and locals, is also interesting.
European cities that on average in 2019 had the highest ratio of tourists staying in accommodation facilities listed on the platforms in relation to the number of local population were Benidorm and Benalmadena in Spain (6,4% and 5,4% respectively)), Zadar and Pula in Croatia (4,5% and 4,2%, respectively) and Venice in Italy (3,8%). To put these values into context, the same ratio for the EU as a whole is 0,34%.
Find out more about family accommodation in Croatia in the podcast Homo Turisticus.
We emphasize loud thinking from Martine Nimac Kalcine, president of the Family Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and Nine Novinić, owners of the holiday house Međimurski ceker in Međimurje
What are the key problems of private accommodation? How to combat the black market? What is a real estate business and what is family accommodation? The positive impact of family accommodation on the circular economy? Importance of branding family accommodation? Do we need an umbrella brand of family accommodation? - are just one of the topics with Nimac Kalcina, President of the Family Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
"People themselves have realized that they have to specialize, because simply successful business nowadays is based on specialization. The agencies themselves specialize, from congress tourism to adventure tourism. This automatically means that you have to specialize your service in order to be marketed and filled by these agencies.”States Nimac Kalcina and adds that private renters must develop their service and accommodation in accordance with the specialization.
Nina Novinić, is the owner holiday houses Međimurski ceker in Međimurje. Ceker is one of the first holiday homes in Međimurje County that have contributed to the promotion and popularization of continental tourism inside and outside Croatia. Nina is a great host or a positive example of how she treats guests and how to run a holiday home.
Nina Novinić has received many tourist awards, but the most important is certainly that of the guests themselves. It is an impressive series of as many as five years in a row where her guests are on Booking Guest Review Award awarded the Međimurje checker with a maximum score of 10 out of 10. To repeat, five years in a row.
"Many make the mistake of thinking that their accommodation is for everyone. Whoever comes, is welcome! But actually the wider you aim, the fewer guests come. One needs to specialize, precisely focused on a specific group of guests. It is extremely important to be consistent in the statue in relation to the guest you want. I think that is one of the reasons why we are successful, because we have been very honest and consistent with our story since day one. When we made the pool, which is always attractive, especially on social networks, we had a lot of inquiries for birthdays and various celebrations, but we never did that. We specialize closely and our guest knows what he will get and we know what kind of guest we will get. We are not all for us, we are not for everyone. As well as for the sake of price, content, relationships and many other details. And that’s one of the basic things a landlord needs to define and set up at the start. Depending on the target group of guests you want, you base the whole philosophy of your accommodation. From decoration, price, communication…", States Nina Novninić.
Listen to the entire conversation in podcast format HERE.