A strong positive trend in percentage growth rate for ECM report cities has emerged again this year, achieving a rate of 5.7% in total bednights and 7.0% in international bednights. Sharp decreases in the number of bednights contributed by Japan and Russia seem to have been offset by the strong positive growth trends of the other seven top source markets, with China and Italy each reaching increases of over 12% since 2013.
European cities are still surfing on the wave of success : the UNWTO Annual Report 2014 affirms that “Europe continues to be the most visited region in the world with over half of the world´s international tourists.” Furthermore, the ECM Benchmarking Report 2015 states that over the last 5 years (2010-2014), bednights in ECM Benchmarking Report cities have been increasing at a faster rate than of the 28 EU nations with + 5.8%, 1.2 points higher than the average growth rate for the 28 EU nations.
Top Performing Cities
The 2013 top five cities in terms of total bednights held their rankings in 2014. London, already being the top performing city, showed a robust growth rate of 6.1% since the previous year, whereas Berlin had the highest growth rate among the top 5 cities with 6.5%. Rome and Barcelona followed suit with positive growth rates in 2014, similar to 2013. In contrast, Paris managed to maintain its position at number two, despite a negative growth rate for the second year in a row. Madrid, Istanbul, and Amsterdam were the top performers in terms of growth rate with more than 10% increase over 2013.
While explaining Istanbul’s remarkable growth, Özgül Özkan Yavuz, General Manager at Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau answered: “Istanbul has historically been a great cosmopolitan city at the heart of culture, and today the number of visitors to the city is growing exponentially as it becomes an ever-more popular destination. Being easily accessible from around the world plays a big factor in this growth; Istanbul is the only city in the world spanning two continents.”
Top Source Markets
Similar to 2013 and making up 20% of total bednights in the ECM Benchmarking Report cities, the US, German, UK and French markets have grown individually between 4.9% and 9% since 2013. Spain and Italy resumed positive growth rates after continuous decreases in number of bednights spent in European cities with respectively +7.7% and +12.4%.
Not surprisingly, the highest top source market was China, with an impressive growth rate of 14.5% over 2013. Japan kept on its negative growth since 2013, though the most marked decrease in bednights belonged to Russia. Nonetheless, the Russian source market remains important to ECM Benchmarking Report cities and stands for 3% of total bednights registered in European cities.
This new section of the ECM Benchmarking Report examines the number of bednights a city hosts per citizen. In 2014, the average tourism density for the sample of ECM cities was 7.14 bednights per citizen. The two destinations with the highest tourism densities are Funchal and Venice. However, nearly two-thirds of the sample (93 cities) revealed tourism densities below average, and about half of the sample shows densities of between 0.6 and 5 bednights per citizen.
Commenting on the results, Ignasi de Delàs, ECM President said: “These results provide crucial insights into European city competitiveness and competitor sets. 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 of markets like Russia or Japan, thanks to the recovery of the Spanish and Italian markets. Despite all economic or political factors, it is proven that 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.”
Produced 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 March, the organisation 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 11th edition, European Cities Marketing (ECM) presented the ECM Benchmarking Report 2015 during its Annual Meeting & General Assembly in Turin, Italy. The report not only covers statistics portraying tourism development for 119 European cities but also forms the basis for discussing major trends and developments in Europe among the member cities.
The 11th edition of the European Cities Marketing (ECM) Benchmarking Report provides benchmarking insight into bednights, bed capacities as well as city tourism vs. national tourism analysis. New to the report this year is a breakdown of tourist densities comparing city’s population vs. bednights in 2014.
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.com.
To be up to date with these latest figures, please get in touch with European Cities Marketing and subscribe to the regular press releases.