Spain's hotels are Europe's most popular

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The Independent Travel

Spain is still Europe's most popular place to stay, according to figures released February 28 by the European Union.

In total, 268 million nights were spent in Spain's hotels by travelers last year, a rise of 6.4 percent on 2009's figures.

The second most popular place to lay your head was Italy, the figures suggested, with 245 million nights spent in 2010, although this was a slight fall on 2009's figures.

Germany took third place, with 229 million nights, France fourth with 196 million and the United Kingdom fifth with 166 million.

These five countries combined accounted for a whopping 70 percent of the total hotel nights spent in the European Union's 27 member nations last year (a total of 1.6 billion), said Eurostat, although some countries showed considerable surges in popularity.

Estonia, for instance, saw a 16.9 percent rise in stays, Denmark was up 14.9 percent and the Netherlands rose 13.4 percent.

Eurostat's figures include both domestic and foreign travelers on both leisure and business - strip out domestic travelers to give a true value of international interest and the most popular nations become Spain, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and fifth place for Austria.

Europe's hotel hotspots - countries ranked by total number of nights spent

1. Spain
2. Italy
3. Germany
4. France
5. United Kingdom
6. Austria
7. Greece
8. Portugal
9. Switzerland
10. The Netherlands

Source: Eurostat