ECM Shopping Barometer

The members of European Cities Marketing (ECM) Research & Statistics Group initiated a project aimed at benchmarking city tourism destinations in Europe based upon price level. The project aims to shed light on the cost differentials existing across cities in Europe, collecting publicly available data for a specific set of items among those commonly consumed by visitors. The final goal of the project is not to rank destinations according to their costliness, but to gain a deeper insight into visitors’ perception of this aspect of their experience in a city. Transparency is a fundamental feature of this initiative. All ECM members are encouraged to participate in the project.

The prices collected within the Shopping Barometer reflect the final consumer’s cost of purchasing holiday-related services in different European cities. All the prices collected for this study:

  • reflect the final price (i.e. include VAT and any applicable tourist taxes);
  • refer to the regular price for one individual’s consumption (discounts for groups or special categories are not investigated at the moment);
  • are collected from businesses in the city centre;
  • are collected in the local currency (converted into Euros for the purposes of comparison);
  • (if applicable) refer to a one-year period;
  • are collected at a specific time of the year.

The shopping bundle covers the main service categories required by tourists at the destination (food and beverage, entertainment and local transport). The costs of transport to the destination and intermediation services are beyond the scope of this project. Some shopping items are monitored in different quality categories in order to reflect the consumption of different city visitor types (e.g. business travellers, weekend city breakers or backpackers).

Shopping Barometer Survey Items
Food & Beverage Beer, 0.33l or medium, in a Pizza Hut restaurant
Big Mac meal at McDonalds incl. 1 Big Mac, french fries, no special offer
Business lunch, 3-course, no drinks, in a 4 star hotel restaurant
Coca Cola, 0.33l or medium, in a Pizza Hut restaurant
Dinner, 3-course, no drinks, in a 4 star hotel restaurant
Espresso in lobby bar of a 4 star hotel
Pizza, medium size with 2 toppings, in a Pizza Hut restaurant
Entertainment Main museum, permanent collection, entrance of 1 adult (standard price)
Classical concert, 1 ticket in 5th row middle (general price)
Opera (classic), 1 ticket in 5th row middle (general price)
Zoo, entrance of 1 adult (standard price). If no zoo available, similar attraction
Sightseeing, hop-on hop-off, 1 adult (standard price) or similar sightseeing tour
Local transportation Public transport one-day ticket
Taxi from airport to city centre (individual)
Train or bus from airport to city centre (2nd class train ticket or public bus ticket)

28 cities that entered their data in TourMIS in 2014 have not yet entered their 2015 data. This information needs to be entered only once a year and is a great opportunity for cities to see where they stand. For more information about the project, please contact Irem Önder (