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CityDNA Report 2021-2022

City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA), the leading network of city tourism organizations in Europe, just launched the 18th edition of the “CityDNA Benchmarking Report”. The Benchmarking Report is the main source of information for city tourism statistics today. Vienna’s Modul University is the scientific partner in producing and further developing the report, which includes the latest insights about the performance of European cities.

The Benchmarking Report illustrates the structure and main trends in city tourism of 117 European cities between 2019 and 2021. Detailed analyses feature major developments concerning bed supply, occupancy, CO2 emissions, and tourism densities of European cities. In addition, the report includes detailed information about the performance of the top 9 European source markets.

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt tourism industry in 2021, although to a lesser extent than in 2020. The following infographic highlights the main results for 2021.

© City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA)

Due to recovery in total bednights experienced, cities included in the CityDNA Report achieved an average growth rate of 36.7%, contrasting the previous year´s negative rate of -60.9%. The average growth rate of bed capacities for CityDNA Report cities has increased by 12.0% in 2021, whereas the average growth rate for the past 5 years was 2.3%. 22 cities reported negative average annual growth rates in bed capacities over the last five years.

In spite of the immense impact of the pandemic over the past two years, European city tourism is on the recovery path. City tourism has been for many years the most dominant and dynamic aspect of European tourism, and except 2020 which was a turbulent year, 2021 means again positive average annual growth rates in international bednights in both the CityDNA Report cities (31.5%) and the EU 27 nations and UK (12.3%). Top Performing Cities for the year 2021, in terms of total bednights, were London, recording a growth rate of 23.0% from the previous year, followed by Paris and Istanbul which recorded an increase of 44.9% and 87.8%, respectively.

Considering international source markets, the top nine source markets in 2021, on one hand, recorded decreases for the UK (-26.1%), Russia (-41.3%), China (-37.8), and Japan (-68.5%) but on the other hand, the remaining top five source markets had increases, anywhere from 10.4% (Germany) to 58.4% (the USA). Germany and France were the top two performers, followed by the United States on top three, whereas Japan secured the last spot among the top nine in 2021.

Annual tourism density in the cities included in the report was determined to be 4.98 bednights per citizen in 2021. Summer was the busiest season, as in the pre-pandemic years, with an average of 2.25 bednights per citizen, followed by fall (average density = 1.70).

To help CityDNA members to better monitor the impact of their sustainability strategy compared to other cities, Modul University Vienna contributed this year with additional information for estimated transport-related CO2 emissions caused by city tourism. Furthermore, TCI Research developed the "Travelsat City Net Sentiment Score”, which reflects the state and dynamic of destinations’ e-reputation from global web social conversations ‘at large’.

The City Destinations Alliance Benchmarking Report can be purchased in different versions. The light package including the report costs € 450. The professional package including the report and full data file costs € 890. The report (in English) can be purchased following this link. For all CityDNA members the report is available free of charge. City Destinations Alliance has opened up membership beyond cities, inviting also regional and national tourist boards to become affiliate members.

For further information, please directly contact the CityDNA Head Office or visit their website to order the report:



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