City Trips Still on the Rise among Europeans

IPK’s World Travel Monitor gives new insight into the lucrative city break sector

According to IPK International’s World Travel Monitor, in a worldwide comparison, no other type of international holiday has grown as quickly as city breaks in recent years. This global trend also applies for international city trips taken by Europeans, where the market share of city trips among the total holiday market has risen from 17% in 2011 to 26% in 2016.

In 2016, Europeans made nearly 90 million city trips to international destinations, resulting in about 500 million nights. Compared to 2011, the number of foreign city trips by Europeans increased by over 70% in total. After Sun & Beach holidays, city trips have become the second most important type of holiday, with every fourth holiday trip in 2016 being a city break.

With 12 million trips in 2016, Germany was able to strengthen its position as number one destination for city trips of Europeans over the last years. Second and third follow France and Great Britain. Italy and Spain are also high up on the popularity scale for foreign city trips among Europeans. Austria (in sixth place) has developed positively with its number of city visitors doubling since 2012, followed by the Netherlands. The only non- European destination among the top 10 destinations for city trips is the USA on 8th place.
Paris and London compete in the Champions League of city tourism and are by far the most popular city trip destinations for Europeans. However, Berlin (in third place) has also left many top destinations behind. Further popular city destinations by Europeans are Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Rome, New York and Munich.
Among Europeans, the share of short city trips lasting 1-3 nights accounts for around 45% and is growing steadily. The average length of city trips in 2016 was 5 nights, with an average spending per person and night of 130 euros. This amount includes all trip related costs, such transportation, accommodation, food etc.