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Top European Cities Hold Their Positions Despite COVID-19 Restrictions

News City tourism has always been an important part of the European economy. For years, major EU cities benefited from the constant flow of travelers but the pandemic changed the usual lifestyle of the region. Without a doubt, 2020 was not the best year for European tourism as the entire industry was stagnant. The impact of COVID-19 is truly dreadful – according to the data provided by ECM Benchmarking Report 2020-2021, the average decline in the industry was 60.9% in 2020. A year earlier, European tourism posted a growth of 4.3%.

That being said, the top three European cities retained their positions last year. The leaders – London, Paris, and Berlin – still had the biggest number of bednights sold in 2020. Hotels in Stockholm and Hamburg posted much better results than hotels in other European cities. The hospitality industries of these two cities were the least affected by the pandemic, which caused Stockholm and Hamburg to improve their rankings significantly. Stockholm scored 6th in 2020 (13th in 2019), and Hamburg moved from the 12th rank to the 7th.

As expected, long-haul markets, which are traditionally very important for Europe, had the biggest decline due to travel restrictions. The flow of tourists from China decreased by 88.9%, from the United States – by 88.2%, and 84.8% fewer tourists from Japan visited Europe in 2020. While contemporary urban tourism was a big trend in 2019, the industry changed significantly last year. Both the ECM Report cities and the EU 28 nations posted declines in the number of international bednights by 77% and 57.8% accordingly.

Cities suffered more declines than the rest of the region (-68.5% and -32.6% respectively) in terms of total bednight volume. The growth of bed capacity was also negative in the cities mentioned in the ECM Report (-5.0%). The average bed occupancy reached only 21.3% in 2020. As a rule, warmer months attracted more travelers to Europe but last year the situation was quite different – winter was the busiest season with an average of 1.67 bednights per citizen.

As tourism has a great economic and social impact on the region, rebuilding tourism in Europe as soon as possible is a high political priority. The industry affects many families and communities, people who work not only in hospitality but also in transport, food, and retail industries. This means that recovering tourism will contribute to the recovery of the economy on many levels.

25.10.2021

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Individual City Guides

Galapagos
Galapagos travel guide
The Galapagos Islands are a picturesque sunny paradise that impresses tourists with nature attractions and clean sandy beaches. The weather here is hot and sunny all year round, so there are the perfect conditions for beach recreation and water entertainments. The biggest island of the archipelago is Isabela. There are several picturesque lagoons and striking attractions on its territory. Travelers should also visit the Urbina Bay where a lot of turtles, penguins and iguanas dwell. … Read further
Ontario Town
Cuisine of Ontario Town
Ontario would be a great destination to explore traditional California cuisine, which has some peculiarities travelers have no idea about. Many of them associate regional cuisine solely with fast food. Actually, here you can try interesting dishes of historical origin. The formation of local gastronomy was greatly influenced by Mexican cuisine - it is not by chance that burrito is one of the daily meals for Ontario residents. This is how they call stuffed flour tortillas. In local restaurants … Read further
Almeria
Traditions and festivals in Almeria
Many people associate Almeria primarily with the extravaganza flamenco dance. Some people recall the traditional Spanish bullfight while talking about Almeria, and for many people around the world the region remains home of fine wines. In any case the local residents have more than enough various traditions, customs and national peculiarities. Bullfights are usually organized on the eve of major holidays. Both locals and tourists come to watch the spectacular show. Fans of this entertainment … Read further
Anapa
Anapa cultural sights
The city is one of the oldest on the Black Sea coast, and therefore there are a lot of historical and architectural monuments, as well as museums, which will be interesting for fans of excursions to visit. The most important attraction is the "Saint Onufry temple", the oldest temple of the Kuban. A church was built in 1829 in honor of the victory over the Turks. It is distinguished by its impressive size and unique architectural style. Another curious monument of the times of the Russian-Turkish … Read further
Kiel
Kiel attractions and entertainment
In the late spring beach season is opened in Kiel. As it becomes warmer, the significant part of tourists and locals prefer to spend their free time on local beaches. The most popular section of coast is considered Kiel-Strande; this beach is well equipped - it is suitable for both sports activities and relaxing. Kiel Canal stretches along the beautiful promenade that has long been a favorite destination for cycling. It is also suitable for hiking. A great place for families is Aquarium Kiel … Read further
Sao Miguel Island
Sao Miguel Island for families and kids
Sao Miguel doesn’t have a lot of entertainment designed only for children. There are attractions, children's rooms and entertaining programs at large hotels. In most hotels, the child can be left for a couple of hours with the animator in the children's club for free or for a small fee. There is a cinema in Ponta Delgada where cartoons are shown periodically during the day. But still, Sao Miguel is an island for active children who are ready to discover new horizons with their parents and try … Read further
Ancona
Shopping in Ancona
Amateurs of luxury brand things in Ancona have an opportunity to look into Gisa Boutique multi-brand store. The opening of this store was held back in 1965. Nowadays, one can buy clothes and shoes of world-wide brands here. Lovers of Armani and Valentino brands particularly appreciate this store. Many fancy-looking people come here especially to choose exclusive shoes. Since this is a luxury store, the cost of goods is quite high. To buy things at a discount is possible only in periods of sale. … Read further
Dortmund
Extreme and fun in Dortmund
Dortmund is a large industrial city, and so tourists will need to spend some time trying to find historical landmarks there. That said, it is a mistake to think that fans of strolling and excursions will be bored in Dortmund. This city is perfectly suitable for admiring a fantastic industrial landscape, exploring deserted and abandoned areas, and shopping that makes any vacation even more exciting. How about taking mesmerizing photographs of semi-ruined old factories and viaducts? If the … Read further
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