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Like bees buzzing around a hive, tourists come to visit Europe's main attractions in vast droves. 'Honeypots' have often developed around specific attractions, providing knock-on benefits for the locality. Conversely, visitors sometimes arrive in city centres simply because that is where their transport has taken them there and end up paying to enter attractions without having planned to do so.
An example of the former cited in this Market Assessment report is the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, which is perched on a hill overlooking Paris. The basilica itself is spectacular but its appeal is interwoven with the chance for tourists to wander along to the famous Place du Tertre with its cafés and pavement artists, itself within a short distance of the famous Moulin Rouge theatre.
Thus Sacre Coeur is the centre of a honeypot area within a city that is itself Europe's major attraction, featuring historic icons such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum and also hosting — less than an hour from the city — Europe's largest commercial attraction, Disneyland Resort Paris.
Given the local links between these attractions, it is difficult to draw up a league table of European attractions, but the Paris region is generally acknowledged to be the market leader (globally and within Europe). Other clusters of major international attractions producing notable honeypots are London, Rome and Venice, with a dozen other European cities vying for top-ten rankings, from Madrid in the West to Istanbul in the East.
Attractions can broadly be divided into two groups: historic and modern. Historic appeal often springs from a whole area, producing honeypots such as the old town centres of Barcelona (Barri Gotic), Dublin (Temple Bar) and Krakow. These town centres are often attractive in themselves, particularly if they have been left unmodernised but pedestrianised, while others are locations of famous buildings (e.g. Medieval cathedrals and castles, or national museums and art galleries).
Classification is difficult because many attractions have unique characters, examples including the 'floating city' of Venice, the Vatican in Rome, the Acropolis in Athens and Germany's spectacular Neuschwanstein castle (the model for Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle). In contrast to these locally rooted attractions are Europe's great museums, such as the British Museum and the Hermitage in St Petersburg, which have gathered together art and artefacts from many countries.
On the 'modern' side of the business are attractions such as hi-tech, educational museums, new public buildings and modern art galleries, but the great volume of tourism is generated by theme parks, which continue to expand. Typically, major theme parks have added hotels to their sites to turn them into tourist resorts, the major example being Europe's outstanding park, Disneyland Resort Paris (originally known as Euro Disney).
With more than 15 million visitors a year, Disneyland has four times the number of admissions of the largest 'indigenous' parks. Nevertheless, these are highly significant for domestic tourism, leading examples including Phantasialand (Germany), PortAventura (Spain) and Alton Towers (the UK). Most parks are independent and local, but several international groups have emerged in the 2000s, led by Merlin Entertainments (UK based), Compagnie des Alpes (France) and Parques Reunidos (Spain).
Official figures from the EU show declines in tourism for most European countries in 2008 and 2009, as would be expected in a global recession. However, the silver lining on the cloud is domestic tourism, since consumers are more likely than usual to stay at home for holidays, instead of going abroad, and might, therefore, spend more time visiting local attractions.
The market has broadened out as more countries have acceded to the EU, their populations taking part in European life more fully. There are now 27 countries in the EU, the majority of which also share, or wish eventually to share, the same currency.
This integration brings Eastern European visitors to the honeypots of Western Europe but, at the same time, it has encouraged outbound tourism by Western Europeans to Eastern Europe. Of key importance in this activity has been the growth of low-cost airlines such as easyJet and Air Berlin, which fly between smaller towns and cities than the flag-carrier airlines, opening up the potential for new destinations.
Meanwhile, an even more significant future trend for Europe's tourism will be the arrival of more visitors from the rapidly industrialising Brazil, Russia, India and China (known as the BRIC countries). These visitors will bring fresh demand for Europe's historic sites.
2. Strategic Overview
20th Century: World Wars and Communism
21st Century: Peace but Terrorism and Recession
Growth of the EU
Table 2.1: European and US Gross Domestic Product at Current Market Prices (Euro bn), 2003-2007
Table 2.2: Index of European Gross Domestic Product Per Capita in Selected Countries (EU-27=100), 2003-2008
INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF ATTRACTIONS
UNESCO World Heritage
Table 2.3: Major World Heritage Sites as Tourist Attractions, 1978-2009
EU Capitals of Culture
Table 2.4: EU Cities of Culture, 1985-2000
EUROPE'S TOP ATTRACTIONS?
EUROPEAN CITIES MARKETING
3. Tourism Flows in Europe
Table 3.1: Populations of Selected Countries in Europe (million inhabitants), 2004 and 2008
Table 3.2: Europe's Largest Cities by Population (000), 2008
INBOUND SPENDING AND ARRIVALS
Table 3.3: Leading Inbound Markets in Europe by Expenditure and Arrivals ($bn, million and $), 2008
Table 3.4: Inbound Tourist Spending in Europe by Top Countries ($bn), 2006-2008
Table 3.5: Tourist Arrivals in Europe by Top Countries (million), 1995 and 2005-2008
NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS FOR INBOUND TOURISM
Table 3.6: Nights in Accommodation by Domestic Tourists in Selected Countries (million), 2001 and 2006-2008
Table 3.7: Holidays Taken in Own Country and Abroad from Selected Countries (% of holidays), 2009
4. Types and Owners of European Attractions
TYPES OF ATTRACTION
Table 4.1: Principal Categories of Tourist Attraction, 2009
'Old Town' Centres
Castles, Palaces and Stately Homes
WORLD HERITAGE AND CAPITALS OF CULTURE
Table 4.2: EU Capitals of Culture, 2001-2019
THEME PARKS IN EUROPE
Disneyland Resort Paris
Table 4.3: Timeline of Disney Theme Parks, 1955-2005
Table 4.4: Financial Data for Euro Disney SCA (million and Euro m), Years Ending September 2004-2008
Compagnie des Alpes
Table 4.5: Major European Theme Parks, 2009
Table 5.1: The Population and Gross Domestic Product of Spain (million and Euro bn), 2002-2007
Table 5.2: Inbound Tourism Indicators for Spain — Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (million and $bn), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 5.3: Spain's Share of the European Inbound Tourism Market by Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (%), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 6.1: The Population and Gross Domestic Product of France (million and Euro bn), 2002-2007
Table 6.2: Inbound Tourism Indicators for France — Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (million and $bn), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 6.3: France's Share of the European Inbound Tourism Market by Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (%), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 6.4: Admissions to Cultural and Recreational Sites in France (million), 2003-2007
Table 6.5: The Eiffel Tower: Events and Admissions, 1889-2009
Table 7.1: The Population and Gross Domestic Product of Italy (million and Euro bn), 2002-2007
Table 7.2: Inbound Tourism Indicators for Italy — Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (million and $bn), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 7.3: Italy's Share of the European Inbound Tourism Market by Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (%), 1995 and 2005-2008
8. The UK
Table 8.1: The Population and Gross Domestic Product of the UK (million and Euro bn), 2002-2007
Table 8.2: Inbound Tourism Indicators for the UK — Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (million and $bn), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 8.3: The UK's Share of the European Inbound Tourism Market by Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (%), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 8.4: Leisure Visits to London and Expenditure by Visitors from Other Countries (000 visits and £m), 2002-2008
Table 8.5: Admissions to Major Attractions in London (million), 2006-2008
Table 8.6: Admissions to Major UK Attractions Outside London (000), 2008
Table 9.1: The Population and Gross Domestic Product of Germany (million and Euro bn), 2002-2007
Table 9.2: Inbound Tourism Indicators for Germany — Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (million and $bn), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 9.3: Germany's Share of the European Inbound Tourism Market by Number of Tourist Arrivals and Inbound Tourist Spending (%), 1995 and 2005-2008
Table 9.3: Bed Nights in Berlin by Domestic and Foreign Visitors (million), 1993 and 2004-2008
10. Other Countries
11. The Future
RECESSION 2008 TO...?
OPENING NEW DESTINATIONS
... AND NEW ORIGINS
A RESILIENT MARKET
12. Further Sources
Key Note Sources
Key Note Research
The Key Note Range of Reports
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