Picture Claus Sager Nov 2015Dear European colleagues and friends,

This year the European Cities Benchmark Report is being published for the 11th time.

The success of this, now standard, publication is based on the excellent and long-lasting cooperation of ECM’s Editorial Board and ECM’s Research & Statistics (R&S) Knowledge Group.

But let’s go back in time when I used to work for Wonderful Copenhagen. In the year of 2000 was the grand opening of the Öresund Bridge connecting the cities of Copenhagen and Malmö, and of course to important nations of the northern European hemisphere.

The opening was a great success with bednight volumes increasing steeply on both sides of the Öresund (The Sound). We, as city tourism managers in Copenhagen, were mesmerised by the strongly increasing tourism volumes in our region. We were actually almost certain that the Copenhagen region was the fastest growing European city region in terms of bednight growth at that time.

To celebrate this success story we planned to issue a series of press releases. For this purpose we decided to compare Copenhagen’s bednight growth with the performance of about 20 other European peer cities. To our great surprise – and disappointment – Copenhagen’s performance in this group of peer cities was just about average. In other words city tourism was on the advance in many other places across Europe.

This was the birth of the European Cities Benchmark Report, and at the same time a valuable anecdote showing how important it is to keep on developing new research tools to measure the performance of European city tourism. This was and will remain the aim of the dedicated members of the ECM Research & Statistics Knowledge Group.

Claus Sager
Head of Market Research, Munich Tourism
Member of the Research & Statistics Knowledge Group

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