Swelling visitor numbers pose opportunities for global cities

Swelling visitor numbers pose opportunities for global cities
Swelling visitor numbers pose opportunities for global cities


Visitors add an average of 3 percent to a city’s population every night, posing significant opportunities for hotel, leisure and retail operators, according to the latest Savills 12 Cities Report H2/2016

The report found that around 901 million domestic and overseas visitors were attracted to the twelve cities examined during 2015. They spent a total of 1.05 billion nights in hotels or other guest accommodation. In some cases, such as New York and London, the visitor populations were equivalent of another city.

Click to enlarge

Swelling visitor numbers pose opportunities for global cities


Visitor breakdown – who is visiting and why?

According to the report, the split between domestic and overseas visitors varies widely between cities. In most, especially those with vast hinterlands such as USA, China, Australia and Russia, more visitors come from the home country. With a relatively high number of domestic visitors (9.20 million), Sydney is also experiencing a growth in international visitors (3.75 million) underpinned by strong holiday and education segments. London, with a relatively small UK hinterland, has the highest number of overseas overnight visitors (20 million) but fewer domestic visitors (13 million). View the full domestic/international visitor breakdown in the Savills 12 Cities Report

It’s easy to assume that the attraction of global cities is all the history, buildings, culture, entertainment, lifestyle and leisure that they offer, and that it is tourists who make up most of their visitors. On average, 77 percent of international visitors to the cities in the Savills 12 Cities Report are there for leisure, tourism and reasons other than business, such as meeting up with friends and relatives.

Shanghai has a large percentage of international business visitors (55 percent) as it is not a prominent international leisure destination, especially compared to cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sydney, which have a large proportion of tourists and other types of visitors seeking sunshine and lifestyle experiences. 

Click to enlarge

Swelling visitor numbers pose opportunities for global cities

Impact on the hotel, leisure and retail industries

Across Savills 12 cities, international overnight visitors spend a total of US$132.6 billion a year when they visit, 30 percent of it on accommodation. In this way, city visitors are participating in the real estate markets of cities every time they pay their hotel bill. This is also true of retail, food and beverage spend, which helps create demand for space and to pay the rent on these premises. They also support industries outside of the hospitality sector, such as airports.

George Nicholas, Global Head of Hotels at Savills, comments: “As global tourism continues to rise, demand for bed space in many city markets is now outstripping supply. For example, Tokyo has had an influx of tourists from China following the relaxation of Visa requirements and the city now has a chronic shortage of rooms, while in London, the fall in the value of the Sterling is attracting visitors who previously thought the UK’s capital too expensive. The net result of this is that we’re seeing a shift in where investor appetite for hotel assets and platforms stems from, with Asian capital in particular coming to the fore in Europe over the past twelve months.”

Yolande Barnes, Director of Savills World Research, adds: “It’s not just the market for hotels and hotel land upon which international visitors have an impact. Across nine top global cities including New York, London and Paris, annual food and beverage spend by international visitors totals at least US$21 billion a year and shopping accounts for US$38 billion. Restaurants, bars, cafes and shops are significantly impacted by these revenue inflows, so ensuring that there is enough space to accommodate visitors is therefore not just imperative for the hotels sector, but also for the wider city economy.”

To learn more about the latest trends in world real estate, visitor cities and economic outlook, view Savills 12 Cities Report H2/2016.

Savills is a leading global real estate service provider offering the full spectrum of services from strategic advice to managing assets and projects and transacting deals. To learn more about Savills, visit savills.com.au.

Tourism Hotel Market

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?