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Benchmarking the triumph of the European city

London, Paris and Berlin continued to lead Europe’s “Big 5” Cities in terms of volume of bed nights in 2012 and Barcelona, the only non-capital city on the short list, edged out Madrid for the fifth spot.

European cities have out-performed nations and have become the driving force in the development of European tourism. The evidence and the facts are clear to see in the recently published 9th edition of “The European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report”, the main reference in Europe for urban tourism, compiled by MODUL University in Vienna.

London, Paris and Berlin continued to lead Europe’s “Big 5” Cities in terms of volume of bed nights in 2012 and Barcelona, the only non-capital city on the short list, edged out Madrid for the fifth spot.

Top 15 European city tourism destinations 2012 by bednight volumes. Based on a sample of 113 cities
 

Total bednights

 

 

Destination

Bednights 2012

2011-12 % change

2011-12 ranking

1

*London

37.719.898

3.1%

2

*Paris

36.907.372

0.1%

3

Berlin

24.896.201

11.4%

4

*Rome

22.962.129

4.3%

5

*Barcelona

15.931.932

2.6%

+ 1

6

*Madrid

15.541.907

-5.1%

– 1

7

Prague

13.601.964

2.9%

8

*Vienna

13.119.077

7.1%

9

*Munich

12.366.261

5.4

10

*Stockholm

10.713.593

1.3%

– 6

11

Hamburg

10.616.115

11.1%

+ 2

12

Istanbul

10.454.764

-1.8%

– 2

13

*Amsterdam

9.801.500

0.5%

– 2

14

*Milan

9.163.731

1.6%

15

*Palma de Mallorca

7.895.379

-2.2%

Source: European Cities Marketing
*Refer to cities with different definitions and data rectifications. See annex for some more information.

But how have individual Cities within Europe performed against each other over the long term? The trend indicates that key cities in Germany, Barcelona, Milan, Rome and Vienna have out-performed their bench-mark. Strikingly, Berlin grew by 8.8 % compared to a 1% growth in London.

The report goes on to cluster the surveyed cities in terms of their 5 years growth performance with domestic and international tourism.

City tourism is characterized by a far more international guest mix share than tourism on a national level. However, the past five years show quite significant differences in the dynamic of growth and internationalization. So called ‘boom town cities‘ include Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Copenhagen and Vienna contrast with ‘Ghost town ‘ cities such as London, Paris; ‘ Home town’ cities such as Helsinki and ‘ Host town’ cities such as Barcelona.

Commenting on the results, Ignasi de Delas, the newly appointed President of ECM said : “these results are fascinating and provide crucial insights into European city competitiveness and competitor sets. All the European Cities have been successful but they appear to be emerging with their own personality and perhaps their own set of opportunities and challenges.”

Burkhard Kieker, CEO of VisitBerlin said: “Τhe German cities have all put in a very strong performance. More international guests are coming to Berlin and we have made strong growth in the convention and association sector. This is partly a consequence of our increased footprint in target markets.”

Tom Jenkins director of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) said: “London benchmarked against Berlin and the performance of Cities generally is staggering. Our tour operators will be eager to use this report to align their product to what looks like a significant shift in the travel industry. It is bound to be a hot topic at the next City Fair on June 24, 2013….”

Karl Wober, President of MODUL University Vienna and Technical Advisor of ECM said: “Τhe only approach to celebrate the real success of a city, is by benchmarking the performance against each other. The economic recession has hit cities all over Europe, however, the example of Spain shows that not all cities are coping with these challenges at the same pace.“

Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website | + Posts

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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