ECM Benchmarking Report 2020-2021 highlightsenormous impact of the pandemic on European city tourism

Published on : Saturday, October 23, 2021

The release of the leading yardstick of the tourism industry – the ECM Benchmarking Report 2020-2021 demonstrates the enormous impact of the pandemic on European city tourism.Nevertheless, the tourism sector and local DMOs especially are in a unique position to initiate wider recovery plans and actions.


The 17th edition of the European Cities Marketing (ECM) Benchmarking Report includes 107 European cities, featuring results from 2020. Until then, cities dominated the European tourism industry and altogether, ECM member destinations represented 690 million tourist bednights in 2019 (ECM Benchmarking Report, 2020). For years, city tourism proved to bethe most dominant and vibrant aspect of European tourism.


2020 was a stormy year for the tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ECM Report said that the cities included in the report witnessed an average decline of 60.9%, which is far from the previous year’s growth rate of 4.3%.
In spite of a challenging year, the top three cities regarding total bednights in 2020 remained the same as previous year: London, Paris and Berlin. Among the top 15, Stockholm and Hamburg experienced the lowest decreases in 2020, which led to a major improvement in their rankings from 2019. Stockholm moved from 13th to 6th and Hamburg from 12th to 7th!


Europe’s main source markets recorded major decreases. The long-haul markets witnessed major decline – China (-88.9%), the United States (-88.2%) and Japan (-84.8%).

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