Prague fifth for international tourists

The Czech capital's numbers increased faster than the European average

Prague ranked fifth among cities in Europe for overnight stays of international tourists in 2016, according to figures from European Cities Marketing. In total overnight stays, it was seventh.

Prague in 2016 had 16.8 million overnight stays, up 5.5 percent on the previous year. For overnight stays of international tourists, the total was 15 million, up 4.7 percent, according to ECM figures.

Urban tourism has been steadily growing, with an average year-on-year increase in overnight stays in 126 European cities up 4.8 percent in 2016. The 5.5 percent increase registered by Prague is one of the highest.

City tourism is growing faster than tourism is general. “We saw another exceptionally successful year for city tourism in Europe, despite major challenges arising. The terrorist attacks in Europe, and particularly in Paris, show the volatility, importance, and resilience of tourism. Overseas markets such as China or Japan are particularly sensitive towards perceived risk which resulted in a negative performance in 2016. However, since the last quarter of 2016 city tourism in Europe is back on track: visitor numbers are strongly and steadily recovering for Paris as well as for source markets which were decreasing for years, such as Russia. City tourism in Europe in 2016 was 'tossed by the waves but does not sink,'” said Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, European Cities Marketing president.

Of the top 15 cities for total bed-nights, 10 cities saw increases and five saw drops. The largest increase was Barcelona, up 8.5 percent, followed by Amsterdam at 7.3 percent and Lisbon at 7.2 percent. Hamburg tied with Prague at 5.5 percent. The biggest drop was Istanbul, down 12.1 percent, followed by Paris, down 8.2 percent. London was down 3.2 percent.

London and Paris, despite the drops, took the top two spots for both total overnight stays and overnight stays by international tourists. After that, the lists differ.

The main source countries for European urban tourism are the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, which account for about 30 percent of the total number of visitors. The number of tourists arriving from China has been steadily growing, increasing by 3.8 percent in 2016. On the contrary, there was a large decline in tourists from Russia, down 9.7 percent.

Top European cities – total bed-nights
1. London
2. Paris
3. Berlin
5. Barcelona
6. Madrid
7. Prague
8. Vienna
9. Munich
10. Amsterdam
11. Stockholm
12. Hamburg
13. Istanbul
14. Milan
15. Lisbon

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