With COVID restrictions loosening in more and more countries, Europeans might be able to travel again soon. A good moment to have a closer look at the capacity that each area in Europe has to receive tourists.
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This map shows the total bed-places in the NUTS-2 areas in Europe. A bed place is basically a place to sleep that’s available for short-term rent at hotels, holiday parks, camp grounds and trailer parks. So, a double bed would count as 2 bed places. As you can see, camp grounds are included as well (so a bed place doesn’t have to be a physical bed, but a place to sleep). Bed places in Airbnb’s are probably not included. The definition of a bed place and the different types of accommodation follow the NACE Rev. 2 classifications. Those classifications were last revised in 2008, the year that Airbnb was founded and a very small start-up company.
What we can see on this map, is the capacity that each region has to receive tourists (that want to stay overnight). It gives us a very good look at which regions in Europe usually receive the largest number of tourists. We can very clearly see that the Mediterranean has by far more bed places than any other area. 4 of the top 5 areas are all on the Mediterranean coast. The number one might be a surprise, the Croatian Mediterranean coast. It’s not surprising it ranks so high, but one would probably expect the Côte d’Azur, the Balearic Islands or Catalonia to be number one.
Other Mediterranean areas that rank high, are Andalusia, Valencia, Languedoc-Roussillon, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Puglia, Tuscany, Veneto and the Greek Islands.
Outside of the Mediterranean we see some other areas that stand out. In France there are several other areas that still rank quite high in Europe: The south-west of the country, Brittany, Paris and the Rhône-Alpes area (the latter is quite popular for winter sports). Apart from Rhône-Alpes, we see more areas that stand out: Oberbayern in Germany, Tirol in Austria and Trento and Bolzano in Italy.
Further north, we see 3 coastal areas that are darker than a lot of coastal areas down south. The German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on the Baltic and North Sea coast also have a large number of bed places. In the UK we can see how West Wales, Cornwall and Dorset and Somerset stand out clearly. All three areas are very popular with British tourists.
The areas shown on this map are NUTS 2 areas. NUTS areas (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) were created by Eurostat, the source of the data for this map. Eurostat is the statistical office for all the EU countries, former EU countries, EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) and EU candidate members (Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey).