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Istanbul scores best among the biggest European city destinations

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Istanbul city toursA new study reveals the success of tourism in Istanbul, Turkey. The study, which analyzed 45 cities in Europe, compared the growth orientation of Europe's major city destinations. As the short city break has been able to establish itself as the preferred holiday of choice in Europe over the last few years. The report also confirms that the upward trend remains unabated and that tourism as a whole continues to significantly outperform European economies with city tourism performing best.

According to the new Roland Berger study "European City Tourism 2015", Istanbul scores best among the biggest European city destinations. The city of Istanbul leads the cluster 1 cities, followed by Amsterdam, Paris, London and Vienna. Istanbul is also the fastest growing city in terms of overnight stays growth, followed by Berlin, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Moscow.

The Roland Berger 2015 study divided the 45 cities under scrutiny into 3 clear cluster groupings. The first cluster encompassed 13 cities with more than 10 million overnight stays, the second, 17 cities with between 2 and 10 million overnight stays and the third, 15 cities with fewer than 2 million overnight stays.

Istanbul, Amsterdam, Paris, London and Vienna took the top five places in the first cluster. Worthy of note too was Berlin, which continues to show strong growth in overnight stays.
Brussels, Copenhagen and Zurich followed suit in the second cluster with Dubrovnik, Luxemburg and Lausanne respectively taking the top three places in the third and final cluster.

The evaluation model used by the study team also favored those cities demonstrating clear growth in the categories overnight stays and bed capacities as well as measuring the received revenue per available room.

Vladimir Preveden, Partner at Roland Berger and author of the study says, "After our first study conducted in 2011, Istanbul has experienced dramatic levels of growth in two key areas, namely in the increase in overnight stays as well as in the growth of bed capacities."

The British and French capitals continue to lead the top cluster in terms of the total number of overnight stays in 2014. The French capital demonstrated a high level of flight accessibility (only being surpassed by London) and high figures for value creation as measured by the achieved revenue per available room – due in part to the continued popularity of Paris as the leading congress location among the first cluster cities. The same factor contributed as well to Brussels' success at the head of the second cluster. Excellent accessibility by plane and strong growth in bed capacity were also major contributory factors. In the third cluster, Dubrovnik featured the strongest growth in overnight stays.

"Dubrovnik has reached its limits of growth in tourism when looking at the size of the city (as indicated by the very high tourism density), and considering that ongoing growth is being driven by the unsustainably high influx of cruise ship tourists," said Preveden.

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