Annual ECM Benchmarking Report offers insights into the tremendous development of the European tourism industry

European Cities Marketing (ECM), the influential network of leading city tourist offices and convention bureaus, has released their annual ECM Benchmarking Report. Figures prepared by MODUL Research indicate a positive development in international bednights with Russia and China showing the strongest growth as source markets.

Comparative data for an initial 58 European cities (the full report in June 2013 will show data of some 100 cities) shows international bednight growth rate at about four times that of domestic bednights. Although relatively modest growth over 2011 was observed due to the Olympics last summer, London claimed the highest number of international tourist bednights in Europe. Paris and Rome followed London in international tourist bednights, both showing positive growth over 2011. Berlin and Budapest showed the strongest international bednight growth over the previous year at +14.5% and +9.4%, respectively.


As for source markets, Japan shows notable growth after a slight dip in 2011 bednights. Germany, United Kingdom, and USA maintain their footholds as the leading source markets with steady increases over 2011 for the UK and USA and a slight negative growth for Germany. While Spain and Italy sustain positions as important source markets, 2012 figures show notable negative growth relative to 2011.

The ECM Benchmarking Report clearly shows that the continuous success of city tourism in Europe is based upon a rich mix of source markets. With an average of 65 % of international guests, European Cities can cope with negative growth in traditional markets, such as in Spain or Italy due to the economic crisis. The cities’ strategic focus on international visitors is the main reason for the triumph of the cities, which gives City Tourism Managers every reason to be confident in the strength of the European tourism industry.


Main source markets in City Tourism in Europe Bednights (in millions)
 2011 2012 change
USA 17.9 19.6 9.7%
Germany 17.3 17.1 -0.8%
UK 14.5 15.1 4.5%
Italy 13.6 13.3 -2.3%
France 11.0 11.3 2.4%
Spain 9.3 8.5 -8.6%
Russia 6.2 7.5 20.4%
Japan 4.3 4.9 13.4%
China 2.3 2.9 28.5%
Total International 205.1 213.7 4.1%
Total domestic 114.9 116.0 1.0%
Total International and domestic 320.0 329.7 3.0%


Source: European Cities Marketing
Notes: Total refers to tourists staying in all types of accommodation establishments. Forecasts based on the sample of cities reporting their statistics on (58 cities provided data for bednights for 2012).

The President of European Cities Marketing, Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, said today:

“In 2012, international bed-nights grew at about four times the rate of domestic tourism growth in European cities. Bednight numbers representing tourists from BRIC markets such as Russia and China grew tremendously over the previous year, proving once again the importance and potential of these countries as strong source markets for the European tourism industry. Such information can aid destination marketers in deciding where to direct their marketing resources and is the main purpose of the ECM Benchmarking Report.”

The 9th Edition of the ECM Benchmarking Report will be presented and the results will be discussed in depth among the leading city tourism mangers in Europe during the annual conference in Copenhagen in June 2013. If you are interested in further information about the Benchmarking Report, would like to join the annual conference, retrieve latest data on the development of European Cities or quarterly predictions of Europe’s tourism professionals on the expected tourism performance, please get in touch with Flavie Baudot from European Cities Marketing (

About European Cities Marketing
European Cities Marketing is the leading network of city tourist offices and convention bureaus. It represents the collective interests of its members, who are drawn from more than 100 major cities in 33 countries in Europe.

Contact information
European Cities Marketing
29D rue de Talant
F-21000 Dijon
Tel : +33 380 56 02 04
Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, President
CEO, Graz Tourist Office

About MODUL Research
MODUL Research is a subdivision of MODUL University Vienna that aims to bridge the two domains of basic and applied research. MODUL Research engages in research projects that provide workable solutions to problems that private firms, industry associations, groups in civil society, and governmental organisations have identified as important.

Contact information
MODUL Research
Prof. Karl Wöber, President