Tourism in European cities: insights into the dynamics of weekend hotel accommodation

The rationalization of the cost of accommodation for the most representative night of the weekend (from Saturday to Sunday) was examined using hotel price information from the Internet. The overall data are related to 20 benchmark European cities, but also include brief comparisons with other cities around the world. The tool used to obtain the information was a web searcher with similar characteristics to a travel agency, which allows booking via the Internet. The amount of data thus collected was much greater than could have been produced from any other available information source, enabling a more robust and detailed analysis. ‘Yield management’, as used by airlines, especially as it relates to price discrimination and ‘peak load pricing’, drives hotel prices. An overview of differences among the main types of customer is provided, distinguishing mainly between those travelling for financial reasons and those travelling for pleasure. The results reveal that ‘sun-and-beach’ destinations, especially abundant in southern European countries, and in particular in Spain, usually offer cheap prices. However, the best-known southern cities present prices in accordance with the price lists of the rest of Europe and, in some cases, their prices are even higher than those in some Nordic cities. Apart from price analysis, the quality of the hotels is also taken into account using the ‘coefficient by star’ parameter ​
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