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European cities’ heartbeat shows resilience in a difficult context

Early fall confirms a rebound of visitor satisfaction. Tourists’ sentiment on Sanitary Safety remains positive.

European Cities Marketing (ECM) and TCI Research partner to monitor the COVID-19 city tourism rebound with the TRAVELSAT Cities’ Heartbeat Dashboard. This partnership promotes and delivers unique and timely destinations’ data to ECM members, with a focus on Visitors’ experience, City e-reputation and Resident sentiment. The exclusive Dashboard enables cities across Europe to monitor the pace, the profile and the quality of visitation rebound in the region.

Despite the wave 2 of the pandemic developing in many European markets, early fall trends from the Cities’ Heartbeat Dashboard reveal resilience capacity on many fronts:

Before last travel restrictions, visitation of iconic attractions has been stable in October compared to September. In early fall, more than 1 in 2 mobile devices captured still belonged to a tourist, 20% of those coming from more than 300 km away. Despite a challenging reputation context for the travel sector overall, the European Cities’ e-reputation has been resilient until now, recording a Net Sentiment Score (polarity of social conversations) above 50 points in November.

After early experience challenges observed last summer, visitors’ satisfaction measured in 21 iconic sites records a significant rebound in Fall, amplifying the September increase. In the prospect of the critical Christmas / New-year season, this trend fuels optimism about cities’ “learning curve” and the positive impact of more visible, efficient, and accepted protocols in place.
The specific visitor sentiment related to sanitary safety reached 60% of positivity since the beginning of fall, significantly increasing 8 points vs September.

“While many European destinations and markets are unfortunately closing/locking down again, our recent data prove that cities have developed some inherent resilience both in terms of attractiveness and ability to host and welcome their visitors in safe conditions. A well-balanced investment in promotion and destination experience management will continue to fuel travellers’ confidence as a regain of optimism is expected for 2021” says Olivier Henry-Biabaud, CEO of TCI Research TRAVELSAT.

Petra Stušek, ECM President, adds “The latest data from the TCI Dashboard for November give us a positive overview of the fall situation in European cities in terms of e-reputation, visitors’ satisfaction and sanitary safety; all progressing in an encouraging way, showing the resilience capacity of European cities. Hopefully, the recent tightening of sanitary measures in different parts of Europe will not affect these sentiments. It is our role as DMOs to work locally on measures to improve confidence for both visitors and residents, promote our destinations as safe places to travel to and preserve our local visitor economies.”

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.