Despite an uncertain economy, European City Tourism Continues its Upward Trend!



European Cities Marketing (ECM), the influential network of leading city tourist offices and convention bureaus, is using the platform presented by ITB to release figures prepared by MODUL Research highlighting last year’s performance of Europe’s resilient and still booming city tourism sector. Based on a sample of 57 European cities, ECM reports an average year-on growth rate of 6.2 % in respect to domestic and international bednights spent in commercial accommodation forms. International bednights increased by some 7.0%.

London, Paris, and Rome remain the three most popular European cities for tourists staying overnight, recording annual bednight levels in excess of 15 million for the 2011 year. Barcelona and Madrid, on the other hand, achieved the highest year-on growth rates, running out an impressive 15% and 11% respectively. At a country level, the US continues to be the single most important source market, followed by Germany, Italy, and the UK.  Russia and China showed the highest year-on growth rates of 33% and 22% respectively.
Source: European Cities Marketing
The President of European Cities Marketing, Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, said today:
“Overall performance in 2011 lends weight to the view that city tourism is the dominant and most dynamic aspect of European tourism. With respect to the key bednights indicator, we can see that last year many cities recorded all-time highs and impressive growth rates. BRIC countries, especially Russia and China, are emerging as important source markets with lots of potential for the future”.
Main Source Markets in City Tourism in Europe
Bednights (in million)  
  2010 2011 change in %
 16.9 17.3 1,8%
14.8 15.5 4.7%


12.8 0.1%
United Kingdom
12.3 12.3 -0.2%
9.6 10.2 6.6%
8.5 8.6 0.8%
4.2 5.6 33.3%
4.2 4.1 -1.6%
1.8 2.1 21.7%
Total international
180.6 193.4 7.0%
Total domestic
123.6 129.6 4.9%
Total domestic and international
304.2 323.0 6.2%

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 (57 cities provided data for bednights for 2010 and 2011).

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
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
Prof. Karl Wöber, President


Download the press release in English