ECM presents the results of Tourism in Europe through its Benchmarking report 2014

In 2013 European Cities achieved an average relative growth in total bednights of 3.5%.

In the last five years, the average yearly international bednight growth rate for European cities was 6.2%, 1.9 points higher than the average yearly bednight growth rate for the 28 EU countries.

ECM predicts a growth of +3.6% in total bednights, and +5.1% in international bednights. The smaller cities of Europe have the highest opportunities for growing.


The Triumph of European Cities

The recently presented 10th Edition of the European Cities Marketing Benchmarking confirms the positive growth trend of the previous years by leading a robust European tourism industry in 2013. European Cities achieved an average relative change of 3.5% in total bednights and 5% in international bednights. Central and Eastern European cities led the forward charge with several exhibiting year-on-year total bednight growth rates above 10%.

Top Performing Cities

London and Paris continue to lead Europe’s city tourism industry in terms of total bednights in 2013. Berlin, Rome, and Barcelona maintained their ranks among the top five cities with decidedly strong year-on-year bednight growth rates. The highest growth rate among the top 5 cities belongs to Berlin whose bednights increased by 8.2%.

Top 15 European city tourism destinations 2013 by bednight volumes.

Destination Bednights 2013 2012-13 % change
1 London 53 696 680 3.3%
2 Paris 36 679 245 -0.6%
3 Berlin 26 942 082 8.2%
4 Rome 24 160 505 6.2%
5 Barcelona 16 485 074 3.5%
6 Madrid 14 873 643 -4.3%
7 Prague 14 654 282 1.5%
8 Istanbul 14 597 845 4.8%
9 Vienna 13 544 798 3.2%
10 Munich 12 894 504 4.3%
11 Hamburg 11 603 135 9.1%
12 Amsterdam 11 262 000 6.6%
13 Stockholm 10 956 922 2.3%
14 Milan 9 922 368 8.3%
15 Dublin 9 250 320 -6.3%

Source: European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report 2014.

All but three of the top-ranked 15 cities showed positive year-on-year bednight growth rates. Istanbul reversed the negative trend exhibited last year and managed to gain an impressive 4 places in the top rankings.


Cities have been taking the lead on the European tourism industry since 5 years

European cities continue to be the clear leaders of the European tourism industry. The average annual bednight growth rate for the ECM report cities was 6.2% – 1.9 percentage points higher than the average yearly bednight growth rate for the 28 EU countries. In the past five years, total bednights from the key source markets grew by 22.4% in ECM report cities compared to 8.4% in the 28 EU nations.


Top source markets and new stand-outs

Internationally-sourced bednight numbers continue to grow at a faster rate than those sourced domestically. Germany, the USA, and the UK once again topped the list of source markets by contributing a combined 75 million bednights to European cities. Spain and Italy maintained their status as top source markets but continued their negative growth trends exhibited in 2012. In comparison to its 14.8% growth in 2012, Japan showed a decrease of 5.8% in 2013. France maintained steady positive growth as a source market in 2013 while the Russian and Chinese markets continued to stand out with growth rates in the double digits. Since 2009, the latter two source markets have more than doubled their bednights contributed to European cities.

In addition, although the relative size of the 9 major source markets did not change much, the international bednights from the remaining source markets have increased by 4%, contributing 55% of the ECM report cities’ International source markets –the guest mix is therefore getting more diverse.


Highest opportunities for smaller cities in 2014

For the very first time, the ECM Benchmarking Report 2014 features short term forecasts for total and international bednights in European Cities on an annual and monthly basis. The study predicts a total bednights growth of +3.6% for 2014. When looking into the predictions in detail, it seems that also in 2014 growth will be mainly driven by international markets with an expected +5,1%, compared to +1.9 % for domestic markets.

ECM report chapter14 2014

Source: European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report 2014.

Compared to the leading so called ‘European Premier League’ cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Rome or Barcelona in which relative growth can hardly reach double digits any longer, the prediction provided is probably too conservative for the other medium and smaller cities, especially for those within Eastern Europe. Particularly smaller cities still have significant potential to grow in terms of bednights, but also bed capacities and are expected to benefit most in 2014.

Benchmarking Report 2013-14 coverProduced by MODUL University Vienna, the European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report provides the #1 source of city tourism statistics in Europe. ECM reports twice a year about the current state of the tourism industry. In February, the organization provides first preliminary results and trends about the previous year, in June the ECM Benchmarking Report is presented containing detailed analyses and benchmarks of the past 5 years, as well as the forecast for the current year. For the 10th time, European Cities Marketing (ECM) presented the ECM Benchmarking Report 2014 during the annual meeting and general assembly in Dresden, Germany. The report not only covers statistics portraying tourism development for 114 European cities, it is furthermore the basis for discussing major trends and developments in Europe among the member cities.

The report costs €990 with the full dataset of figures, and is free for members of European Cities Marketing. The report can be ordered from dev.europeancitiesmarketing.comTo be up to date with these latest figures, please get in touch with European Cities Marketing and subscribe to the regular press releases.


About European Cities Marketing

European Cities Marketing improves the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of more than 110 members from more than 100 major cities in 32 countries.

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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.

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MODUL Research
Prof. Karl Wöber, President,