BRUSSELS, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The European Union played host to 2.6 billion tourists in 2013, counting the nights people spent in hotels, motels, hostels and inns, Eurostat said.
Tourist overnights spent in the 28-member EU rose by 1.6 percent from 2012 with nights spent by non-residents up 5 percent, the European Commission's data office said in a Wednesday release.
The number of tourist overnights in the region has risen each year since 2003 with the exceptions of 2008 and 2009, which were the years of a near-global financial crisis.
Each year since 2010, however, has set record highs in the number of times the region played host to travelers.
For 2013, France posted the highest number of tourists spending the night with 405 million nights, a gain of 1.1 percent over 2012.
Spain tucked in 387 million visitors for the night, a gain of 1 percent from 2012. In Italy, 363 million pillows were fluffed up for visitors, a drop of 4.6 percent from the previous year.
In Germany, 355 million spent the night, a gain of 1.3 percent from the previous year. In Britain, 320 million spent the night, a gain of 6.5 percent.