Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Despite the 9% rise in the European Union, Portugal saw a significant decrease in the number of overnight stays in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019.

According to a report by ECO, between July and September 2022, online short-term rental platforms — such as Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group, or Trip Advisor — recorded 250.9 million nights booked across the European Union (EU).


These figures, according to data published by Eurostat, represent an increase of 9% compared to the values recorded in the same period of the last pre-pandemic year, when platforms reported around 230 million guest nights. However, at least 12 Member States have not yet reached 2019 levels, among which Portugal stands out, with a drop of 4%.


Bookings on these platforms were registering a “gradual recovery” during the second half of 2021, but it was in the first six months of 2022 that overnight stays in short-term rental accommodation reached and surpassed pre-Covid pandemic levels for the first time, notes the European statistical office. Translating into numbers, the first half of 2022 accounted for 199.4 million nights booked, against 83.8 million between January and June 2021 (a period still marked by travel restrictions) and 193.3 million nights in 2019, an increase of 3.2%.


If only the third quarter is taken into account, which includes the traditional summer holiday months of July and August, this increase became “much more pronounced”, with 250.9 million nights booked in these accommodations, an increase of 24% — and 230.4 million in the same period of 2019 — an increase of 9% —, according to Eurostat.

Already between January and September last year, nights spent in accommodation booked through online platforms corresponded to a total of 450 million in the community block. This figure is equivalent to increases of 57.4% and 6.3% compared, respectively, with the first nine months of 2021 and 2019.


However, although comparisons with 2021 document a “robust recovery” in all 31 countries that make up the EU and EFTA (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein), there are differences between them compared to 2019. Belgium, Sweden, and France recorded an increase in overnight stays booked on online platforms of around 30% in the third quarter of 2022.


Portugal, in turn, was “the most prominent destination country, with a significant decrease” of 4%, among the 12 EU member countries that were still lagging behind 2019 levels, notes the European statistics office.