With over 56 million overnight stays in 2016, London has set a new visitation record. The milestone also means that in 2016 London drew more overnight stays than any other city in Europe, according to new research from the city’s destination marketing organization, London & Partners.
According to European Cities Marketing (ECM) there were over 41 million overnight stays from international tourists. Overall London grew 7 percent year over year. Paris had the second most number of overnight stays followed by Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Vienna, Munich and Amsterdam.
For international overnight stays, the list of the cities are the same as compared to 2015. London (+1.3%) and Paris (-12.9%) are the top two cities with the highest number of international bednights. The Spanish cities of Barcelona (+8.5%) and Madrid (+9.4%) had the highest growth in the top 10 list.
Visitors from the United States (11%), Germany (9%), and UK (9%), make up approximately 30 percent of the source markets to European cities. The results indicate that overall European city tourism is growing, with the growth coming from European markets.
London has a hotel sector with over 140,000 rooms, which is set to grow over the coming years. Traditionally investment in hotels in London has focused around central areas, however, new infrastructure improvements and a booming digital economy has created a “Knowledge Corridor” that stretches from Bloomsbury to Paddington, taking in Fitzrovia and North of Oxford Street. Hotel activity is increasing as these areas grow, with Premier Inn recently opening another hotel on Tottenham Court Road and U.S.-based hotel operator Standard International opening its first hotel in 2018 in the former Camden Town Hall.
Shoreditch has also become a hotspot for hotel development due to building availability and lower costs compared to more central locations with new hotels including Z Hotels and Nobu Hotel Shoreditch opening up.