inspektour and the DITF presented key findings from the Destination Brand 20 study on the perception of city trips and city destinations to an international audience.
The balance sheet for the 2020 tourism year shows that cities as travel destinations are suffering particularly from the Corona crisis. In addition to travel restrictions and contact limitations, the pandemic in city tourism is creating further barriers to visitation: on the supply side, numerous central city travel occasions such as business trips, but also shopping or events in the vacation segment are being eliminated; on the demand side, there are psychological barriers, since “social distancing” is made more difficult in cities as densely populated areas and cities frequently proved to be the epicenters of the pandemic (e.g., New York, Madrid).
Due to this Ellen Böhling (inspektour) and Anne Köchling (DITF) presented selected results of the Destination Brand 20 study with a special focus on the perception of city breaks and city travel destinations in the course of a webinar on March 16, 2011. More than one hundred representatives of destination management organizations from Europe (including Vienna, Paris, Zurich, Lisbon) participated in the webinar.
Within the scope of population-representative online surveys from October to December 2020, DITF and inspektour (international) investigated the brand value of numerous cities and the influence of Covid-19 on the willingness to visit in ten central outgoing markets. In addition, general conditions for city tourism such as the general interest in city trips or short- and medium-term international travel plans were surveyed. Overall, the results for international city trips give cause for cautious optimism in the medium term:
The fundamental interest in city breaks has not collapsed during the pandemic. In terms of longer vacations, those interested in city breaks in the European source markets have extensive plans within the next 3 years. In the case of short breaks abroad, however, plans are somewhat more restrained overall.
Germans’ visit preferences currently (12 months) tend to focus on domestic regions – cities (especially international ones) are less in the “relevant set”. In the 3-year perspective, however, visit preferences for cities are rising again – especially for international cities, which are increasingly being considered for longer vacation trips.
Nevertheless, as long as the pandemic has not been overcome, the COVID-19-related “strategies” of vacationers, which are very similar throughout Europe, make it difficult to woo city travelers. The perception of hygiene and safety (still) plays a decisive role in the selection of destinations, and people prefer not to travel so far.
The Destination Brand study series was developed in 2009 by the German Institute for Tourism Research (DITF) (then Institute for Management and Tourism (IMT)) at the West Coast University of Applied Sciences and conducted for the first time in the same year. Since then, more than 150 German destinations in the source market Germany have been evaluated every year. Since 2014, inspektour GmbH has been the publisher of the study series and is in charge of conducting it. The DITF continues to accompany the further development of the study as a scientific cooperation partner. In 2018, Destination Brand was introduced in the source markets of Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland. China followed in 2019 and France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA in 2020.
You can download the handout for the webinar here.
Do you have questions about the webinar or the DESTINATION BRAND study series? Feel free to contact Ellen Böhling at any time.
Save the date: Another webinar focusing on perceptions of low-mountain and alpine regions is scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 25, 2021.