European City Tourism Is on The Up Again!

Berlin, March 9, 2011. European Cities Marketing, the leading network of city tourist offices and convention bureaux, is using the ITB to report on the recent development of tourism demand in their member destinations. Based on a sample of 59 European cities, including many leading city tourism destinations in Europe, the international network reports that in 2010 the total number of bednights experienced year-on growth of 7.0%. International bednights increased by 6.8%.

Commenting on this year-on growth, the President of European Cities Marketing, Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, says: “effectively, 2010 was for us a recovery from the global economic recession. In this respect, recent political developments in the Middle East region may restrict visits there and encourage more tourists to take city breaks in Europe. Although accommodation prices are not expected to rise significantly this year, an increase in bednights will also raise revenues in the European city tourism.”

In 2010, the top five European cities in respect of bednights generated by international tourists were London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Prague. However, amongst the top 10 performing cities in Europe and recording the highest year-on growth rates were Munich (+18.4%), Amsterdam (+15.5%), Berlin (+15.1%), Madrid (+14.9%), Barcelona (+14.1%) and Vienna (+8.8%). Overall, European cities reported an average increase of +6.8%."

Source: European Cities Marketing
Notes: Total refers to tourists staying in all types of accommodation establishments. Predictions based on the sample of cities reporting their statistics on (59 cities provided data for bednights for 2009 and 2010).

All of the important source markets for European city tourism recovered from the economic crisis and increased in bednights. The US market comprised the single most important source of international tourists, followed by Germany and Italy. Japan and the United Kingdom, two markets that had a strong decline in bednights in 2009, generated a slight increase in 2010. Russia and China showed the highest year-on growth rates, recording 31.6% and 24.8% respectively. 

As of 2011, European city tourism is on the rise again, and the negative effects of the global financial crisis seem to be diminished for the tourism industry. “Tourism is sometimes an underestimated part of the economy” says UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai. “It here again shows that the resilience of visitor economy is higher than in many other sectors of the economy and should be perceived accordingly”. According to a survey among members of European Cities Marketing, more than 60% of the city tourism professionals within the network expect a bednight growth of between 1% and 5% in their city destination in the first quarter of 2011. 

Click here to download the English or the German version