For years, city trips have been the fastest-growing segment of the international leisure travel market as Europeans, Asians, North and South Americans head for attractive destinations in nearby countries as well as travelling abroad. In worldwide terms, no other form of outbound holiday has grown so strongly in the last decade. Compared to holiday trips in general, city trips grew nearly four times as much in this period. This is the result of a special evaluation of the World Travel Monitor from IPK International commissioned by ITB Berlin.
The figures tell a clear success story. Since 2007, international city trips have tripled their volume reaching 190 million in 2017. This volume results in city breaks being the number one holiday type worldwide for the first time. Hence, city trips overtook sun and beach holidays, which has been the dominating holiday type for years. The strong increase of city trips has been supported by cheap flights and new accommodation types like sharing accommodation.
Travellers going on city trips mostly belong to the younger and middle age groups, while the average city traveller worldwide is 41 years old. In terms of income, city breaks are mostly a holiday type for well-off travellers. According to the World Travel Monitor, around 50 percent of city tourists are in the upper income class, while two-thirds belong to the upper education group.
In 2017, the average spending per person and night on a foreign city trip was around EUIR170, including all costs, such as transportation, accommodation, etc. With a share of around 70 percent, air travel was the preferred transportation type to reach the destination. About 70 percent of city visitors book hotel accommodation, however other accommodation types are increasing. Especially sharing accommodation has reached popularity in the past years. Within the hotel segment, budget hotels are declining, while first class hotels are continuously growing.
Regarding the activities and motives of international city travellers, World Travel Monitor data shows that visiting objects of interest and sightseeing were the most important motives. Moreover, the majority of city tourists also want to enjoy the atmosphere of the city go shopping and experience good food, while some like to visit museums and exhibitions.