COLOGNE — Tourism remained at a very high level in Cologne in 2013. Altogether, 2.96 million hotel guests came to Cologne last year for a total of 5.08 million overnight stays. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of 1.7 per cent in terms of guest arrivals, but a very slight decrease of 0.1 per cent in terms of overnight stays. Particularly noteworthy is the great increase in the number of foreign guests, who accounted for 6.7 per cent more arrivals and 2.9 per cent more overnight stays.
Even though the number of overnight stays is currently stagnating at a high level, it is becoming clear that Cologne has recovered very well from the recent recession. The number of international arrivals has risen by 42 per cent since 2009, and the number of overnight stays by foreign guests has increased by 33.2 per cent. “Cologne has become much more attractive internationally, as demonstrated by the development of its tourism sector over the past four years,” says Elisabeth Thelen, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Cologne Tourist Board. “Cologne has also maintained its ranking of 24th among Europe’s 100 most popular city travel destinations and is a very attractive leisure and business destination.”
“Our strategic focus on the international markets is paying off. We recorded over 480,000 overnight stays last October, making it the best month in the history of Cologne tourism. This was primarily due to the strong ANUGA trade fair,” says Josef Sommer, Managing Director of Cologne Tourist Board. “The high bed occupancy rate despite increased room prices show that people consider Cologne a high-quality destination.”
Congress and conference market / new venues
According to the latest results of the TagungsBarometer Köln study, 45,570 events were held in Cologne last year, attracting a total of 3.56 million participants.
Europäisches Institut für Tagungswirtschaft GmbH (EITW) has been conducting the study on behalf of the Cologne Convention Bureau every year since 2009.
Compared to 2012, the results represent an increase of 1.1 per cent in terms of the number of events and 5.2 per cent in terms of the number of participants. In 2013 Cologne had a total of 166 conference and event venues, of which 20 were eventcentres, 55 were conference hotels and 91 were event locations.
Commercial businesses accounted for 71 per cent of all the events in Cologne, and the remaining 29 per cent were events staged by non-profit organizations. A comparison of the most important business sectors shows that banks and insurance companies have once again surpassed the medical sector and returned to the top position they last held in 2011. The communications industry ranks third. The leisure industry, encompassing sports and tourism, climbed three places to rank fourth. In the non-profit sector, private and community organizers improved their position, relegating the previously dominant business associations to third place. The most important source market for Cologne’s congress and conference business is still clearly the UK, followed by the USA and the Netherlands, which tied in second place. The USA climbed two places compared to its standing in the previous year,
after having already risen four places in 2012. Gains were also posted by Belgium and France.
The number of event venues in Cologne will increase in the summer of 2014, when the Flora reopens. Moreover, the opening of the new Motel One at the Mediapark and the new Courtyard by Marriott will create additional attractive accommodation in the hotel market in Cologne’s downtown area.