While USA, UK, and Germany maintain their positions as the leading bednight source markets for European cities, Russia and China exhibit the highest growth rates among the leading source markets in 2013.
Total foreign and domestic bednights increased by 3.6% over 2012, international bednights having increased at four times the rate of domestically-sourced bednights.
Leading source markets USA (+2.6%), Germany (+5.0 %), UK (+8.8 %), and France (+5.6 %) remain strong with positive increases in sourced bednights in 2013. Spain (-3.1%) and Italy (-3.6%) continue to decline in terms of total bednights contributed to European cities, but both markets maintain their positions as two of the strongest sources for European city tourism representing a combined 10% of total international bednights in 2013. Russia and China as source markets once again boast the highest growth rates with Russia nearly matching the number of bednights contributed by Spain in 2013.
London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Barcelona maintain their positions as the European cities claiming the highest number of total foreign and domestic bednights. Madrid, Prague, Vienna, and Munich remain among the top ten cities in terms of total foreign and domestic bednights while Hamburg manages to secure the final spot in the top ten rankings with an impressive increase in bednights of 8.8%.
While the traditional leaders of the European city tourism industry grow at respectable rates, it is the lower ranking cities in this sample that show the most impressive year-over-year increases in bednights. Leuven (Belgium) reports an increase in bednights of 26%, while Croatian cities Zagreb and Split report increases of 12 % and 22 %, respectively. Bratislava’s increase of nearly 17 % over 2012 has the city exceeding two million bednights in 2013. These remarkable increases indicate a European city tourism industry charging forward as a whole.
“European Cities continue to be drivers of European Tourism. Internationalization is one of the key-words in the tourism-development of many countries.” declares Ignasi de Delàs, President of European Cities Marketing. He continues : “The ECM Benchmarking Report clearly shows that the continuous success of city tourism in Europe is based upon a rich mix of source markets. In 2013, international bed‐nights grew at about three times the rate of domestic tourism growth in European cities. Bednight numbers representing tourists from BRIC markets such as Russia and China grew tremendously over the previous years, proving once again the importance and potential of these countries as strong source markets for the European tourism industry.
European Cities can cope with negative growth in traditional markets, such as in Spain or Italy due to the economic crisis. 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.”