European Cities Marketing (ECM) announced that the preliminary figures for 2014 indicate positive increase in bednights hosted by European cities with an impressive intensification of the Chinese market and the recovery of long-established source markets like Italy or Spain. The 2013 star growth market, China, showed impressive growth by 13.2% in 2014 to make up about 1% of bednights spent in European cities. In 2013, the Chinese market was already growing by 11.4%.
Comparative data for an initial sample of 63 cities shows 4.3% increase in international bednights since 2013. International bednights continued to grow at a faster year-on-year grow rate than domestically-sourced nights (+4.3% vs. +2.9% respectively), representing just over 65% of total bedights (235.1 million in 2014). The European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report, the reference for urban tourism in Europe is to be available next June and will show data of more than 110 cities.
London and Paris once again claimed the highest number of international bednights with small positive increases over the previous year. Other top ten cities made more notable leaps in internationally-sourced bednights; four of the top ten cities hosted between 4% and 6% more international bednights since 2013, while Berlin showed impressive growth by 6.4% and Amsterdam greatly increased international bednights by 10.4%.
The USA, Germany, and the UK provided nearly a quarter of the international bednights spent in European cities in 2014. Each of these source markets increased by between 4-6% since 2013. Spain and Italy resumed positive growth rates as source markets after continual decreases in number of bednights spent in European cities over the past few years.
Despite growth in Chinese market, Japan continued to show a decline in bednights since the previous year (-4.1%) and Russia decreased even more with -7.9% after having grown by an impressive 9.4% in 2013. The decline of the Russian source market was expected due to the decrease in the oil prices, devaluation of the ruble, and sanctions taken against Russia because of the country's conflict with Ukraine.