Vacations international, but nearby


 Phillip Capper/Creative Commons

Tourism: The Grand Duchy’s residents took more than half of their holidays in neighbouring countries, a new report has found.

Denizens of the Benelux countries are among the most frequent international tourist travellers, according to the EU’s official statistics agency.

Residents of the EU27 made more than one billion holiday trips--overnight stays of one or more nights--in 2011, Eurostat said on Monday. The majority of overnight trips by EU residents were domestic in all but five member states.

Unsurprisingly Luxembourg was far and away the champion in this category: nearly 100% of all holiday trips were international.

The Grand Duchy was followed by Belgium (74% of total trips were to a foreign country), Slovenia (56%), the Netherlands (52%) and Austria (50%).

The Grand Duchy’s inhabitants took a total of 1.3 million holiday trips in 2011, the Eurostat report said. The most popular destination country was France (23% of all international trips), followed by Germany (18%) and Belgium (10%). That means 51% of holiday trips were to neighbouring countries.

Residents of France preferred to visit Spain (18%), Italy (11%) and the UK (7%).

UK residents’ top destinations were Spain (21%), France (14%) and “other Asia”, meaning Asian countries other than China, Japan and South Korea (6%).

Across the entire EU27, 24% were international journeys. Spain was the most popular destination of all EU27 residents, receiving about 13% of total visits, followed by Italy and France, which each saw 9% of EU27 visitors.

Four countries represented approximately two-thirds of all overnight tourist visits between EU countries: Germany (73 million “outbound” holiday trips), the UK (44 million), France (22 million) and the Netherlands (16 million).