Accommodation and food service statistics - NACE Rev. 2
From Statistics Explained
- Data from April 2013. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
This article presents an overview of statistics for the European Union’s (EU) accommodation and food services sector, as covered by NACE Rev. 2 Section I. These activities make up a significant part of tourism supply, although they also serve local clients and business customers.
Main statistical findings
The accommodation and food services sector recorded value added of EUR 195.6 billion in the EU-27 in 2010 and employed 10.1 million persons, many of them on a part-time basis; its workforce was also characterised by a large number of working proprietors and unpaid family workers. The accommodation and food services sector’s contribution to the non-financial business economy (Sections B to J and L to N and Division 95) workforce was therefore much higher (7.7 % of the total) than its contribution to value added (3.3 %), while it accounted for an even larger share (8.2 %) of the number of enterprises, reflecting the small average size of the 1.8 million enterprises in the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector.
Apparent labour productivity of EUR 19.3 thousand per person employed was recorded in 2010 for the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector alongside average personnel costs of EUR 16.2 thousand per employee, in both cases the lowest values among any of the NACE sections included within the non-financial business economy. However, both of these indicators are pulled downwards by the traditionally high incidence of part-time employment in the accommodation and food services sector. The wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio is not directly affected by part-time employment as it shows the ratio between value added and total personnel costs without relating this to the number of persons producing the output or receiving wages and salaries. This ratio is also adjusted for the relative importance of unpaid working proprietors and family workers which was somewhat higher (18.0 %) for the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector in 2010 than for the non-financial business economy as a whole (14.3 %). The combination of low productivity and personnel costs in the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector led to a wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio of 119.0 % in 2010, which was the third lowest value across the NACE sections within the non-financial business economy. By contrast, the gross operating rate which shows the share of turnover that remains after paying for purchased goods and services and personnel costs (in other words, the gross operating surplus) was 13.0 % for the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector in 2010; which was more than one quarter higher than the non-financial business economy average (10.1 %).
According to most structural business indicators, the food and beverages subsector (Division 56) is larger than the accommodation subsector (Division 55). The food and beverages subsector accounted for 85.1 % of all enterprises in the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector in 2010, 77.0 % of the persons employed and 67.6 % of sectoral value added.
The low apparent labour productivity figure for the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector in 2010 was pulled downwards by the food and beverages subsector, where an average of EUR 17.0 thousand of value was added per person employed, compared with EUR 27.2 thousand within the accommodation subsector. As such, the food and beverages subsector had the lowest apparent labour productivity ratio in 2010 among the 64 NACE divisions within the non-financial business economy. Equally, average personnel costs were lower for the food and beverages subsector (EUR 14.8 thousand) than for the accommodation subsector (EUR 20.4 thousand). The EU-27’s food and beverages subsector recorded the second lowest level of average personnel costs among the non-financial business economy NACE divisions in 2010. As already noted, many activities in the accommodation and food services sector have a high incidence of part-time employment and wage-adjusted labour productivity is an indicator that is less influenced by this characteristic. The accommodation subsector recorded a wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio of 132.8 %, relatively close to the non-financial business economy average (144.8 %), while the food and beverages subsector recorded a ratio of 114.5 %.
For the gross operating rate, the above average value for the whole of the EU-27’s accommodation and food sector (13.0 % in 2010) was pulled up by the 15.2 % rate recorded for the accommodation subsector, although the gross operating rate for the food and beverages subsector (12.1 %) was also above the non-financial business economy average (10.1 %).
In absolute terms, France recorded the highest level of value added within the accommodation and food services sector in 2010 (EUR 34.5 billion), which was equivalent to 17.6 % of the EU-27 total. The United Kingdom (17.4 %), Germany (14.9 %), Italy (13.6 %) and Spain (12.7 %) also contributed more than one tenth of EU-27 value added. These five Member States collectively provided 76.2 % of the EU-27’s value added in the accommodation and food services sector in 2010, 4.7 percentage points more than their share within the non-financial business economy as a whole. In employment terms, this unusually high concentration of activity within the largest EU Member States was even more visible, as 71.6 % of the accommodation and food services sector’s workforce were employed in these five Member States, compared with a 64.3 % share for the non-financial business economy average — see Figure 3. Germany had the largest share of EU-27 value added for accommodation services (16.5 %), while for food and beverage services the highest contribution to EU-27 value added came from France (19.4 %) — see Table 3.
In Cyprus, 16.6 % of the non-financial business economy workforce was active in accommodation and food services in 2010, while this sector accounted for 10.5 % of Cyprus’ non-financial business economy value added — see Figure 2. As such, Cyprus was, by far, the most specialised EU Member State in the accommodation and food services sector; this pattern was repeated for both subsectors, although the Cypriot specialisation was particularly high for the accommodation subsector. Note that there are no data available for Greece or Malta for accommodation and food services and that these two holiday destinations are also traditionally specialised in this sector. In value added terms, Spain, Portugal and Austria were the next most specialised Member States for these activities, with Spain specialised in both subsectors, while Austria’s specialisation was more concentrated within the accommodation subsector and Portugal’s within the food and beverages subsector. France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Ireland were also relatively specialised in the food and beverages subsector. Croatia was also highly specialised in the accommodation and food services sector, in particular in the accommodation subsector. The EU Member States that were least specialised in the accommodation and food services sector included Poland and Slovakia, where the accommodation and food services sector contributed less than 1.5 % of non-financial business economy value added.
A further analysis shows that Romania had by far the highest wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio among the EU Member States in the accommodation and food sector in 2010, at 160.3 %, followed at some distance by Latvia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Cyprus, (all between 139.1 % and 144.5 %). Greece (2009 data) was the only EU Member State with a wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio (93.7 %) below 100 % in the accommodation and food sector, while relatively low ratios were also recorded for Spain, Italy and Hungary.
Size class analysis
The enterprise size structure of the EU-27’s accommodation and food services sector would appear to be dominated by micro enterprises (employing fewer than 10 persons). These enterprises employed 42.1 % of the EU-27’s accommodation and food services workforce in 2010 and generated 36.6 % of its value added — far higher than the average share of micro enterprises within the non-financial business economy as a whole (29.9 % and 21.2 % respectively) and comparable with those recorded for the construction sector (another activity with a large population of micro enterprises). Small enterprises (employing 10 to 49 persons) also accounted for a higher than average share of the workforce and value added, in both cases more than a quarter of the total. The relative importance of medium-sized enterprises (employing 50 to 249 persons) and particularly large enterprises (employing 250 or more persons) was low in the accommodation and food sector, combining for just 30.1 % of the EU-27’s total workforce and 36.4 % of its value added, compared with respective averages of 49.6 % and 60.5 % for the whole of the non-financial business economy.
The share of micro enterprises was particularly high for the EU-27’s food and beverage services subsector, generating 43.7 % of the value added and employing 46.1 % of the total workforce in this subsector in 2010. Small enterprises were particularly important in the accommodation subsector, with a 31.9 % share of value added and a 32.4 % share of the workforce.
In 2010, large enterprises in the accommodation and food services sector generated less than one quarter of value added in all of the EU Member States for which data are available, except for Poland (30.2 %) and the United Kingdom (50.5 %), where the relative weight of large enterprises was well above the EU-27 average (22.7 %) — see Table 6b; large enterprises also accounted for a relatively high share of value added in Croatia. The share of value added stemming from medium-sized enterprises exceeded one third of the total in Bulgaria, Estonia and Ireland, while small enterprises accounted for more than a third of total value added in Austria, Germany and Lithuania. In most of the other Member States (for which data are available), micro enterprises generated the largest share of value added, exceeding 40.0 % in Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy and France, and reaching 51.2 % in Slovakia.
The largest regional workforces in the accommodation and food services sector, across NUTS level 2 regions within the EU-27, were generally in capital city regions, other regions with major cities, and regions well-known as tourist destinations. The top 20 regions, in terms of employment in the accommodation and food services sector included the capital city regions of France, the United Kingdom (both the inner and outer regions of London), Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Portugal. Other large cities in regions in the top 20 included Milan and Bologna in Italy, Munich and Düsseldorf in Germany, and Lyons in France. Toscana in Italy and Canarias in Spain were two tourist regions that were also in the top 20, as were several regions that contained major cities as well as being well known for tourism: Cataluña, Andalucía and Comunidad Valenciana in Spain (containing Barcelona, Seville and Valencia respectively) and Veneto in Italy (containing Venice). The top 20 regions together accounted for 29 % of the EU-27’s accommodation and food services workforce.
The relative importance of the accommodation and food services sector can be analysed by comparing the employment of this sector with the non-financial business economy workforce. Among the 188 NUTS level 2 regions for which data are available in 2010, the median share of the accommodation and food services sector in the non-financial business economy workforce was 7.7 %. Employment within the accommodation and food services sector was quite concentrated, with relatively high and low shares being observed across the regions, ranging from a low of just 2.1 % of the non-financial business economy workforce in Podkarpackie (Poland) to a high that was 10 times this level, 22.9 % in the Algarve (Portugal).
Unsurprisingly, the list of regions that were highly specialised in the accommodation and food services sector was dominated by coastal and mountainous regions that are associated with tourism: the highest capital city region was Inner London in 25th place. In 14 regions, the accommodation and food services sector employed 15.0 % or more of the non-financial business economy workforce in 2010. These regions included: four British regions — North Yorkshire, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Devon, Highlands and Islands; two Spanish island regions — Illes Balears and Canarias; four Alpine regions in Italy and Austria — Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano/Bozen, Salzburg and Tirol; two Portuguese costal/island regions — Algarve and Região Autónoma da Madeira; the island Member State of Cyprus (one region at NUTS level 2); and one Irish region — Border, Midland and Western.
At the other end of the scale, there were nine regions where the accommodation and food services workforce employed less than 3.0 % of the non-financial business economy workforce, one of which (Sud - Muntenia) was in Romania, while the other eight were all in Poland.
Data sources and availability
The provision of accommodation services (Division 55) covers hotels and other provision of short-stay accommodation; activities related to the provision of long-term primary residences are excluded and are covered by real estate activities (Section L). The food and beverage services subsector (Division 56) provides complete meals or drinks fit for immediate consumption, regardless of the type of facility supplying the service; sit-down and take-away restaurants are included, as well as bars, canteens and catering services. Note that these activities do not cover the provision of food or drinks that are sold through independent distribution channels, in other words through wholesale or retail trade activities (Section G).
It is important to bear in mind (in keeping with all structural business statistics) that only enterprises for which the provision of accommodation, food or beverages is the principal activity are covered by the statistics presented in this article. Enterprises offering food and drink as a complement to their core business are not included and in some cases meals and beverages may represent a significant secondary activity — for example, the sale of food and beverages in stadiums, cinemas or recreation parks (if these are not operated by separate enterprises).
The analysis presented in this article is based on the main dataset for structural business statistics (SBS), size class data and regional data, all of which are published annually.
The main series provides information for each EU Member State as well as a number of non-member countries at a detailed level according to the activity classification NACE. Data are available for a wide range of variables.
In structural business statistics, size classes are generally defined by the number of persons employed. A limited set of the standard structural business statistics variables (for example, the number of enterprises, turnover, persons employed and value added) are analysed by size class, mostly down to the three-digit (group) level of NACE. The main size classes used in this article for presenting the results are:
- small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): with 1 to 249 persons employed, further divided into;
- micro enterprises: with less than 10 persons employed;
- small enterprises: with 10 to 49 persons employed;
- medium-sized enterprises: with 50 to 249 persons employed;
- large enterprises: with 250 or more persons employed.
Regional SBS data are available at NUTS levels 1 and 2 for most of the EU Member States, Norway and Croatia, mostly down to the two-digit (division) level of NACE. The main variable analysed in this article is the number of persons employed. The type of statistical unit used for regional SBS data is normally the local unit, which is an enterprise or part of an enterprise situated in a geographically identified place. Local units are classified into sectors (by NACE) normally according to their own main activity, but in some EU Member States the activity code is assigned on the basis of the principal activity of the enterprise to which the local unit belongs. The main SBS data series are presented at national level only, and for this national data the statistical unit is the enterprise. It is possible for the principal activity of a local unit to differ from that of the enterprise to which it belongs. Hence, national SBS data from the main series are not necessarily directly comparable with national aggregates compiled from regional SBS.
Tourism plays an important role in Europe and makes a considerable contribution to employment and regional development, as well as a range of other EU objectives, such as sustainable development or the enhancement of natural and cultural heritage.
One of the main characteristics of tourism-related activities is their high income elasticity of demand, which increases or reduces more easily than for many other products or services. As such, spending on tourism generally decreases proportionally faster than consumers’ income during times of economic slowdown. Moreover, political or economic uncertainties (for example, when exchange rates change rapidly) tend to lead to a diversion of tourism demand, resulting in shifts between outbound tourism and domestic tourism. Furthermore, a downturn in economic fortunes is also likely to result in reduced business activity; this in turn may be reflected in fewer business trips and nights spent in hotels, as well as less corporate entertainment.
In June 2010, the European Commission adopted a Communication titled Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination — a new political framework for tourism in Europe. This Communication addresses issues such as: the impact of the changing global economy on tourism, as well as various challenges to be faced by the providers of tourism services, such as seasonality of demand or an ageing population. The Communication outlines policies to stimulate competitiveness: to support diversification of tourism supply, develop innovation, improve professional skills, encourage an extension of the tourism season, and consolidate the socio-economic knowledge base for tourism. Further policies concern the promotion of the development of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism, the consolidation of the image and profile of Europe as a collection of sustainable and high-quality tourist destinations, and the maximisation of the potential of EU financial policies and instruments for developing tourism.
As a follow-up to the communication, the European Commission launched a ‘50 000 tourists’ pilot initiative in 2011 in an attempt to combat seasonality, stimulate the creation of employment, strengthen the image of Europe, and to cooperate with non-member countries. The first pilot intends to encourage 25 000 South Americans to travel to Europe during the off-season between October 2012 and March 2013, and for 25 000 Europeans to travel to South America between May and October 2013.
EDEN is an acronym for European Destinations of Excellence , a project run by the European Commission to promote sustainable tourism development models. The project is based on national competitions that take place every year which result in the selection of tourist destinations of excellence in each participating country. The European Commission has been running EDEN since 2006.
Further Eurostat information
- European business - facts and figures (online publication)
- Key figures on European Business – with a special feature section on SMEs – 2011 edition
- SBS – services (sbs_serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics for services (NACE Rev.2 H-N and S95) (sbs_na_1a_se_r2)
- Preliminary results on services, main indicators (NACE Rev.2) (sbs_sc_r2preli)
- SMEs - Annual enterprise statistics broken down by size classes - services (sbs_sc_sc)
- Services broken down by employment size classes (NACE Rev.2 H-N and S95) (sbs_sc_1b_se_r2)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- SBS - regional data - all activities (sbs_r)
- SBS data by NUTS 2 regions and NACE Rev.2, from 2008 onwards (sbs_r_nuts06_r2)
Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)
- Decision 1578/2007/EC of 11 December 2007 on the Community Statistical Programme 2008 to 2012
- Regulation 295/2008 of 11 March 2008 concerning structural business statistics
More detailed analysis of accommodation and food service activities: