Tourism s robust performance expected to continue in 2013

The tourism sector is one of the few sectors that have continued to grow and create jobs, despite the crisis, the EU said on Wednesday in a new report.

Portugal Car Hire TourismSeven out of ten Europeans travelled in 2012 (the same proportion as in 2011).

And of EU holiday makers, as many as 88% spent their vacations somewhere within the EU, either in their own country or in another Member State.

Spain remains the most popular planned destination (12%), followed by Italy (8%) and France (7%). Austria, Germany, Greece, the UK (all 4%) and Croatia (3%) make up the rest of the top eight.

The industry's robust and resilient performance is expected to continue in 2013: three quarters of respondents to a recent EU survey (75%) are planning to go on holiday this year, although 34% will adapt their holiday plans to take the economic situation into account.

Holiday plans for 2013 closely resembled the destinations chosen in 2012. Spain (12%), Italy (8%) and France (7%) are still the most preferred destinations, and 51% plan to take a holiday in their own country.

These are the most important results of the latest Flash Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism published today. It also explores the motivations for going on holiday, how holidays were arranged, holiday satisfaction and the plans for the future.

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "With 75% of Europeans planning to go on vacation in 2013 the outlook of the sector's contribution to the economy is very promising. This is good news, as this important sector with its many small enterprises can send a strong signal to other industry sectors that we can get out of the economic crisis."

According the study, respondents in Portugal (52%), Lithuania (54%) and Hungary (56%) are the least likely to have spent one night away from home in 2012.

Financial reasons are the most commonly mentioned for not taking a holiday in 2012.

Bulgarian respondents are the most likely to cite financial reasons (73%), followed by those in Greece (72%), Portugal (61%) and Romania (60%).

Apart from those in Turkey (42%), respondents in Portugal (52%), Lithuania (54%) and Hungary (56%) are the least likely to have spent one night away from home in 2012.

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