What is the main purpose of ECM Benchmarking Report and for whom it may be useful?
The European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report measures how city tourism in Europe developed on the basis of 113 European Cities. The report became the #1 source of city tourism statistics in Europe and gives us valuable information about the performance of a city on many levels. The most evident value of the report is the general overview of city tourism in Europe. The real added value of this report is that it contains numerous possibilities to dig into detailed data by using the charts and the enclosed data file. It helps us to monitor and identify our closest competitors as well as the development of source markets in the respective cities. One of the main advantages for us is the possibility to analyse the development of market shares in our source markets as these key indicators are indispensable when evaluating our marketing strategy each year.
Apart from city marketing organizations, what other organizations can be interested in the data that the ECM Benchmarking Report brings?
The range is extremely wide – potentially any organization that acts on an international level or has its competitors within the scope of international tourism. Apart from ECM members, the report is often asked by national tourism organizations, international hotel and restaurant chains, universities, of course consultancy services… the list would be long. The report is already in its 9th edition and improving every year. There is a huge demand by the industry, and media are always curious about the latest figures. Basically, there is something in for everybody. It’s just about identifying the stories to be told in the wealth of information provided by the report. For sure, it is the essential reading for city tourism professionals and their stakeholders.
Which cities can participate in the project and be included in the report?
Currently we have 113 participating cities. The number one condition to participate is to have reliable statistic data of the particular city destination and a person who is keen to invest some of their time to enter these data at least once a year in the TourMIS system (www.tourmis.info). The report takes into consideration time series of 5 years so the only other condition would be that the statistic records must go at least 5 years back in the past.
The accompanying title for 2013’s report was “Key Results and Insights for your Destination Marketing Strategy”. What are the main lessons to learn?
The report is a great source which can be used to showcase the triumph of the cities in Europe. It is not only, that we can see ongoing growth of city tourism despite the challenging economic situation in Europe. The report furthermore portrays the exponential growth of city tourism compared to tourism on a national level. Cities truly are the engine of tourism development in Europe.
One particular strength of the report is, that besides the premier league cities (mainly capitals) it also features the so called second division cities receiving less than 1.5 million bednights per year. Economic analysts identify those smaller, tourism intense cities to have the highest potential to grow and gain market-shares on the long run. It highlights the ‘winners’ of 2012 with extraordinary growth rates and reveals their success stories.
The European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report provides not only global views on the industry; it is also the number one source of city tourism statistics when performing analysis on a city level by evaluating the competitive set of a destination. For cities which cannot maintain their own research department, the report is a great resource to benchmark their performance and identify competitive advantages.
In 2013, we were particularly proud on the extended ‘Shopping Barometer’ section, which sheds light on the cost differential existing across 35 cities in Europe. Results can be valuable input for political discussions highlighting competitive threats.
We are looking forward to 2014, when we celebrate the 10th edition of the Report and aim for more cities to be included, more insights provided and more value created to the readers.